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UNHRC marks loss of life in ‘Palestinian territory and elsewhere’

The motion, led by Pakistani envoy Zaman Mehdi on behalf of the OIC, did not mention Hamas or terrorism, and blamed Israel for "breeding violence."

A view of the U.N. Human Rights Council special session on “the deteriorating human-rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” May 2018. Photo by Elma Okic/U.N.
A view of the U.N. Human Rights Council special session on “the deteriorating human-rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” May 2018. Photo by Elma Okic/U.N.

The U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday held a moment of silence for the “loss of innocent lives in the occupied Palestinian territory and elsewhere,” after Palestinian terrorists killed more than 900 Israelis and wounded more than 2,300 in the most lethal attack on the Jewish state in the last half-century.

Pakistani envoy Zaman Mehdi led the motion on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states, representing 57 countries.

Mehdi’s statement blames Israel for the attack and “breeding violence,” without mentioning Israel by name at any point. The statement makes no mention of Israeli victims, terror or Hamas.

The UNHRC in Geneva is notorious for its bias against the Jewish state, targeting Israel in more condemnations and investigations than any other country in the world.

The UNHRC’s special rapporteur for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Francesca Albanese, has not condemned Hamas for its onslaught against Israeli civilians, but accused Israel of “militarized settler colonial occupation.”

Separately on Monday, the United States led a moment of silence at the UNHRC for those killed in the Hamas onslaught.

The request came from U.S. Permanent Representative to the UNHRC Michèle Taylor, who said, “The United States unequivocally condemns these heinous acts of terrorism. We extend our deepest condolences to the families affected and express our solidarity with the people and government of Israel in these trying times.”

She continued: “At this solemn juncture, I respectfully request a moment of silence from this esteemed Council and all present here today, to honor and remember the victims of these appalling terrorist attacks: those we know about and those we have yet to discover, innocent lives lost across Israel and Gaza resulting from the attacks by Hamas, all those who are held hostage, and all those who are and will yet be affected.

“As we stand in silence, let us reaffirm our collective commitment to promoting peace, justice, and human rights across the globe, and let our silence resound as a united stand against terrorism and violence.”

Meanwhile, on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said that he was “deeply distressed” by Israel’s announcement that it will initiate a complete siege of the Gaza Strip in the wake of the weekend assault, which he had earlier condemned as “abhorrent attacks.”

“I urge all sides and the relevant parties to allow United Nations access to deliver urgent humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians trapped and helpless in the Gaza Strip,” said Guterres on Monday, appealing to the international community to mobilize immediate humanitarian support, and repeating longstanding calls for a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian settlement based on a two-state solution.

The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday continued to pound Hamas targets in Gaza. Meanwhile, Hamas continued to bombard Israeli population centers with rockets after at least seven Israelis sustained injuries the previous afternoon amid a barrage of projectiles fired across the south and center of the country, including the Jerusalem area.

Israeli forces on Monday regained control of all the communities near the Gaza Strip after two days of fighting, but IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari warned that there were still terrorists in the area.

On Tuesday, Hagari said that the military had regained control of the Gaza border after Palestinian terrorists blew up sections of the security fence during the invasion on Saturday morning.

“In the past day, not a single terrorist entered via the fence,” he said.

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