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Palestinian leadership gains 3 resolutions during UNHRC session

March 28, 2015 9:52 A.M. (Updated: March 30, 2015 4:46 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) approved three resolutions regarding occupied Palestinian territory and Palestinian rights during the 28th regular session.

The month long session ended yesterday, bringing praise from PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi for widespread support from the majority of member states for the resolutions.

The resolutions called for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, "including their right to live in freedom, justice and dignity and the right to their independent State of Palestine," confirmed Palestinian right to sovereignty over natural wealth and resources, and condemned the continuation of all settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The United States was the only UNHRC member to vote against the three resolutions, drawing criticism from Ashrawi.

"Rather than acting in accordance with international law, democracy and human rights, the U.S. made the decision to isolate itself at the expense of Palestinian rights, lives and lands," she stated in a press release.

The agreements highlighted the illegality of Israeli construction and expansion of settlements particularly in and around occupied East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the eviction of Palestinian families, and the continuation of construction of the wall on Palestinian land.

The UNHRC session also discussed increasing incidents of violence by Israeli settlers, excessive use of force used by Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and conditions of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails, including

minors.

The resolutions came as part of ongoing efforts by Palestinian leadership to pursue action against Israel through international measures, partially as a result of the continual failure of peace talks to bring any relief to the more than 60-year Israeli occupation.

The PLO was granted a request to join the International Criminal Court late 2014, paving the way to bring Israeli leaders to court for alleged war crimes.

In response, Israel froze the transfer of $127 million in taxes collected monthly on behalf of the Palestinians, drawing criticism from Palestinian leadership and the international community as these revenues make up around two-thirds of the Palestinian Authority's annual budget.

The freeze was allegedly revoked Friday after three months of withholding, however Palestinian leadership has not yet received confirmation of the future transfer.

News of the resolutions comes eleven days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected and subsequently chosen to form the next government, which Palestinian leadership hope might be influenced by international pressures.

"Such resolutions constitute a step in the right direction, and it is high time for the military occupation of Palestine to end and for all members of the international community to hold Israel accountable with punitive action and measures, and to recognize Palestine in the immediate future," concluded Dr. Ashrawi.

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