NEW YORK, Friday, December 24, 2021 (WAFA) – An overwhelming majority of 125 countries in the United Nations General Assembly have backed an unprecedented open-ended war crimes probe against Israel, including into the 11-day Israeli aggression on Gaza in May 2021.
The probe had initially been approved in May by UNHRC in the aftermath of the Israeli aggression on Gaza. Its broad mandate — approved 24-9 with 14 abstentions — allows for an investigation into Israeli human rights violations on either side of the Green Line. This would include both Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
The UNGA vote on Thursday night came after Israel asked to amend the UNHRC budget resolution so that the money for the probe be excluded from the overall UNHRC budget.
Only 8 countries voted in favor of the resolution, including Israel and the US, while 34 countries abstained.
Australia and Canada, who have a strong record of supporting Israel, both took the floor to explain their decision to abstain, noting that they often strove to support funding for UNHRC commissions of inquiry even when they opposed them.
Canada said that at this point in the process, the UNGA should be looking at funding and not revisiting the UNHRC decisions with regard to investigations.
Palestine’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, commended the vote and all the countries that rejected Israel’s proposal. He also thanked the UNGA for approving all budgets of the programs relating to the Palestinian cause, including his request to increase funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).