GENEVA (AP) – The U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday deplored Israel’s military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as breaching international humanitarian law and voted to send an urgent fact-finding mission to the region.

By a vote of 29-11 with five abstentions, the council approved the resolution proposed by the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference after it was amended to suggest the Palestinians also had a responsibility to refrain from violence against civilians. . .

The resolution received considerable support from the non-Muslim members of the council, including India, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Cuba, the Philippines and Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Zambia, but a number of them said they thought the Palestinians should have been called to account as well.

Canada and European countries opposed it. Neither the United States nor Israel are members.

The resolution expressed “deep concern” over the “arbitrary arrest of Palestinian (Cabinet) ministers, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and other officials as well as the arbitrary arrests of other civilians” and military attacks.

It said the council “decides to dispatch an urgent fact-finding mission” headed by John Dugard, a U.N. expert who visited the Palestinian territories last month.


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