The UK has called on Israel to co-operate with the International Criminal Court after last year’s war in Gaza, backing a United Nations’ resolution to that effect.
British diplomats at the world body joined representatives of 40 other countries in urging the full implementation of recommendations from a UN commission set up to investigate last year’s hostilities. Only the United States voted against it.
The resolution notes “grave concerns” about possible war crimes and “deplores the non-cooperation by Israel with the independent inquiry”.
It also highlighted the civilian deaths during last year’s conflict and calls for “accountability and justice for all violations of international law” on both sides.
Israel has been criticised for not doing enough to protect civilians in Gaza, with the resolution noting that the Geneva Convention demands “protection of civilian persons in time of war”. Officials say that 1,462 Palestinian civilians died, including 551 children and 299 women, as did six Israeli civilians.
Palestinian envoys praised the vote and report, which they said “documents the crimes of terrorism committed against civilians, including the destruction of property and infrastructure”.
However Israeli leaders decried it as typically biased and – after thanking President Obama for his lone support – Benjamin Netanyahu said the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was “not really interested in facts and human rights”.
He added that Israel, “for no fault of its own, acted to defend itself from a murderous terrorist organisation” and that the UN should instead be criticising Iran, Syria and groups like ISIS.