UN rights body censures Israel

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By Al Jazeera English, March 24, 2010

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed three resolutions condemning Israel over its policies in occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories.

However, the United States voted against them all.

Another resolution, calling for a fund to compensate Palestinians who suffered losses during Israel’s offensive in Gaza 14 months ago, is expected to be passed on Thursday.

One resolution on “grave human rights violations” by Israeli forces in the Palestinian territories – which was passed by 31 votes to nine, with seven abstentions in the 47-member Council – demanded that Israel end its occupation of Palestinian land, occupied since 1967.

US opposition

It also demanded that Israel stop what it called targeting of Palestinian civilians and systematic destruction of their cultural heritage, halt all military operations across Palestinian land and lift its blockade of Gaza.

The US and the European Union, whose seven members on the Council vote separately but generally in unison, opposed the resolution, with both saying it was unbalanced.

Another resolution called on Israel to stop building all settlements in the occupied territories.

Article continues . . .

Al Jazeera English, March 24, 2010

Israel looks set to carry out plans to build 20 new apartments in East Jerusalem despite reported strong objections from the US.

While there is nothing new about Israel’s illegal building in the occupied territory nor Washington’s stance in opposing it, Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros looks at whether recent events will push the US to finally tackle the thorny issue, or gloss it over for the sake of “proximity talks” and an appearance of progress.

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