GENEVA SWITZERLAND (JUNE 2, 2010) UNTV - The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Wednesday (June 2) condemning the attack by Israeli forces against the humanitarian flotilla bound for Gaza, which left nine people dead.
Calling the maritime assault "the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces which resulted in the killing and injuring of many innocent civilians from different countries," the resolution also calls on Israel to immediately lift the siege on occupied Gaza.
The UN Council also decided to dispatch an independent international fact finding mission to investigate violations of international law resulting from the Israeli attack in which nine people died.
The representative from Israel Aharon Leshno Yaar asked delegates to vote against the resolution it, saying that Gaza was controlled by Hamas.
"I would like to first remind the Council that the Gaza strip is controlled de facto by the Hamas terrorist group, a terrorist group that in its Charter seeks to obliterate Israel, as a land and as a people. Hamas deliberately and indiscriminately attacks Israeli civilians and communities on a daily basis using Qassam rockets, missiles and mortars. For this reason, Israel imposed a maritime blockade to prevent the infiltration of war material into the Gaza strip," he said.
The United States delegate said it was too early to jump to conclusions before a full investigation
is conducted about what happened when the Israeli mariners stormed the Turkish boat leading the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza on Monday (May 31).
"Unfortunately the resolution before us rushes to judgement on a set of facts that, as our debate over the last few days makes clear, are only beginning to be discovered and understood. It creates an international mechanism before giving the responsible government an opportunity to investigate this incident itself and therefore risks further politicizing a sensitive and volatile situation. We understand the impetus to respond quickly to a troubling set of events. But we have an obligation to determine facts and make considered judgements on how to best address what is a complex and difficult situation," said United States ambassador to the Council Eileen Chamberlain Donahue.
Norway and Italy also voted against while other European Union states abstained, as did Japan while China sided with other non-aligned in favour of the resolution.
After the debate, The Council adopted the resolution, by a vote of 32 in favour, three against, and nine abstentions, deploring the loss of life of innocent civilians and expressing its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families.
The Council called on Israel to fully cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to seek and provide information on the whereabouts, status and condition of the detained and injured people.