UN’s Ban Ki-Moon Calls On Israel To Lift The Blockade On Gaza

Yesterday, the United Nations Human Rights Council decided to send an independent fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law resulting from the Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla bound for Gaza. The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution strongly condemning the attack by a vote of 32 in favor to 3 against and 9 abstentions. Italy, The Netherlands and the United States voted against the resolution, which also called on Israel to “immediately lift the blockade on Gaza”. The United Nations Human Rights Council resolution (A/HRC/14/L.1) is called “Grave Attacks by Israeli Forces against the Humanitarian Boat Convoy”. The nine countries which abstained from the oral vote were: Belgium, Burkina Faso, France, Hungary, Japan, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon added that Israel must provide “a full and detailed accounting of the events around the military operation”. Ban Ki-Moon also stressed that “the incident highlights a serious underlying problem- that Israel’s closure of the Gaza strip is counterproductive, unsustainable and wrong and should be lifted immediately”.

The United Nations has repeatedly spoken out against the blockade of Gaza and raised great concerns over the insufficient flow of material into the area to meet Palestinians’ basic needs. The Gaza blockade has caused ongoing suffering for 1.5 million Palestinian people and has impaired any coherent attempt at reconstruction.

Meanwhile in Turkey, the human rights activists from the Gaza aid flotilla expelled by Israel yesterday were received a hero welcome at the airport. A crowd of a few thousands gathered at the airport waving Turkish and Palestinian flags and shouting anti-Israeli slogans.

The tension between Turkey and Israel remains extremely high, with Turkey accusing Israel of piracy and some Turkish official saying that the Netanyahu administration is behaving “like a terrorist state”.  Today, the Turkish president said that Israel’s action in the raid have caused “irreparable damage to Turkey’s relations with Israel, and will never be forgiven”. Thousands gathered in the streets of Istanbul to pay tribute to the human rights activists- 8 of them Turkish- killed in the attack.

To read the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution click here.


2 Responses to UN’s Ban Ki-Moon Calls On Israel To Lift The Blockade On Gaza

You must be logged in to post a comment Login