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UN rights council to consider call for arms embargo on Israel 

April 4, 2024 at 10:21 am

Protestors hold a banner that says “Stop Arming Israel”, in Paris, France on 01 March 2024 [Telmo Pinto/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The United Nations Human Rights Council will tomorrow consider a draft resolution calling for an arms embargo on Israel, citing “plausible risk of genocide in Gaza.”

The draft resolution’s text condemns “the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects by Israel” in populated areas of the Gaza Strip and demands that Tel Aviv “uphold its legal responsibility to prevent genocide.”

If the draft resolution is adopted, it will be the first position taken by the Human Rights Council since Israel launched its brutal bombing campaign in October 2023.

Pakistan submitted the text on behalf of 55 of the 56 UN member states who form part of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), except Albania. The draft resolution is also co-sponsored by Bolivia, Cuba and the Palestinian mission in Geneva.

The eight-page draft demands that Israel end its occupation of Palestinian territory and immediately lift its “illegal blockade” on the Gaza Strip and all other forms of “collective punishment”.

It calls upon countries to stop the sale or transfer of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, citing “a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza”.

It also voices grave concern at the effects of explosive weapons on hospitals, schools, water, electricity and shelter in Gaza.

The draft resolution also calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and “condemns Israeli actions that may amount to ethnic cleansing” and “the use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare” and urges all concerned countries to prevent the forced displacement of Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) must receive adequate funding, the text of the resolution says.

Finally, it “reaffirms that criticism of Israel’s violations of international law must not be confused with anti-Semitism.”

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