Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced as “shameful” a decision by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate abuses in the Palestinian territories and inside Israel, while Palestinians welcomed the move.
“Today’s shameful decision is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession,” Mr Netanyahu said on Friday AEST.
The Palestinian foreign ministry, however, said the decision “reflects the determination of the international community to move forward in the path of accountability, law enforcement, and protection of Palestinian human rights”.
The council decided to create an open-ended international investigation into violations surrounding the latest Gaza violence, and into the “systematic” abuses in the Palestinian territories and inside Israel.
The resolution, which passed with 24 of the council’s 47 members in favour, will spur an unprecedented level of scrutiny on abuses and their “root causes” in the decades-long Middle East conflict.
The text, which was presented by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, was debated during a special one-day council session focused on the surge in deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians this month.
“This travesty makes a mockery of international law and encourages terrorists worldwide,” Mr Netanyahu said.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem, said the Islamist Palestinian group that controls Gaza “welcomes the decision of the Human Rights Council to form an international investigation committee into Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories”.