UN rights group sets probe into Israel's bloody raid on Gaza aid ships

UN Human Rights Council voted to set up an independent fact-finding mission to look into violations of international law in Israel's raid on a Gaza aid flotilla.

UN rights group sets probe into Israel's bloody raid on Gaza aid ships

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday voted to set up an independent fact-finding mission to look into violations of international law in Israel's raid on a Gaza aid flotilla.

In a resolution proposed by Pakistan for the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and Sudan for the Arab group, the Council by a vote of 32 of its 47 members also condemned the Israeli action as outrageous.

The United States, Israel's longtime ally, together with Italy and the Netherlands voted against, while nine European, African and Asian nations abstained and 33 more African countries did not vote.

The resolution called "for full accountability and credible independent inquiries into these (Israeli) attacks" in which Israel says nine people on boats in the flotilla died.

The Council decided to despatch an independent, international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law in the attack, it said.

The team would be appointed by the Council president and Belgian diplomat Alex Van Meeuwen -- whose own country along with four other European Union members abstained in the voting.

Israel unlikely cooperate 

Israel began releasing the 682 activists it arrested on the vessels earlier on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear when the rights council mission would be set up or who might be on it. Diplomats said it was unlikely that Israel, which has announced its own probe, would agree to cooperate with it.

The text of the flotilla resolution differed from a statement from the U.N. Security Council in New York on Tuesday which called for a "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards."

The difference, diplomats said, reflected the fact that while the United States with its veto power could have a determining influence on a Security Council text it could exert no such power in the Geneva rights body.

In the rights body, Russia and China as well several African and Latin American states backed the resolution, but France, Belgium, Britain, Hungary, Japan, Slovakia, Ukraine and south Korea -- together with Burkina Fasso -- abstained.

Reuters

Last Mod: 03 Haziran 2010, 08:24
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