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UNHRC adopts resolution to strengthen UN presence in Palestine

March 22, 2019 4:14 P.M. (Updated: March 25, 2019 3:52 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a draft resolution to strengthen the UN presence in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory, on Friday afternoon.

The UNHRC requested "the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to strengthen the field presence of the Office of the High Commissioner in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip."

The Council requested the deployment of "personnel and expertise necessary to monitor and document the ongoing violations of international law" in the occupied territories.

It condemned Israel's "apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force" against civilian protesters, including children, journalists and health workers, in Gaza.

The resolution was adopted with 23 states in favor, 8 against, and 15 abstentions.

The votes against the resolution were given by Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Fiji, Hungary, and Ukraine.

UNHRC mentioned that it was "gravely concerned" by the findings of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry's probe, which warned of possible war crimes committed by Israeli forces during the “The Great March of Return” protests.

The UN probe said that Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes killing scores of Palestinians and wounding more than 6,100 suppressing weekly protests in Gaza over the past year.

The Council also stressed "the urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, and affirming that this is necessary in order to uphold human rights and international law."

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