GENEVA, Switzerland — The UN Human Rights Council on Friday voted to establish an investigation into Israel’s killing of Palestinians during protests along the Gaza border, in a move Israel rejected as being an attempt to undermine Israel’s right to self-defense.
The council voted 29 in favor and two against with 14 countries abstaining. Australia and the US were the two countries to oppose the decision. The council also also condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians.”
The “independent, international commission of inquiry” mandated by the council will be asked to produce a final report next March.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Israel will not cooperate with the investigation.
“The UN Human Rights Council prefers to back Hamas instead of supporting Israel’s right to defend itself from terror,” tweeted Hotovely. “We have no intention of cooperating with an international investigative committee that wants to dictate results without a connection to facts.”
Israel, completely rejected the decision, saying all that it proved was that the council had “an automatic anti-Israel majority, where hypocrisy and the absurd held sway.”
“The results of this investigation are a forgone conclusion and are written in the text of the decision itself,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “It is clear to all that the aim of this council is not to investigate the truth, but to undermine Israel’s right to self-defense and to uniquely demonize the Jewish state.”
Israel accused the council of systematically ignoring real human rights violations around the world and instead “adopting for more resolutions against Israel than against all the rest of the countries in the world combined.”
Israel pointed out that the vast majority of the 60 people killed in Monday’s protest “were Hamas members, as even the leaders of the terror group have acknowledged in their own voices.”
The Israeli statement said Israel’s actions were completely legal and intended to “protect our sovereignty and prevent a mass assault against the border with the intention of killing Israelis and carrying out terror attacks.”
Israel is not a member of the UNHRC, and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday called on the US to leave it. “We need to stop lending a hand to this hypocrisy-fest,” he said.
Earlier, the UN human rights chief slammed Israel’s actions as “wholly disproportionate” and backed calls for an international investigation.
Addressing a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the violence, which the council said has claimed more than 87 Gazan lives in six weeks, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein warned that “killing resulting from the unlawful use of force by an occupying power may also constitute willful killings, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”