The UN Human Rights Council has voted to launch an investigation into the deaths of Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border on Monday. Twenty-nine voted in favor, two opposed and 14 abstained. Israel rejected the decision, saying the council’s aim is “to violate Israel’s right to self-defense and to demonize the Jewish state.”

Gaza border, Monday

Gaza border, Monday Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

During a special session in Geneva on Friday, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) decided to set up a commission of inquiry to look into the clashes along the Gaza Strip border and mass border protests on Monday that resulted in over 60 Palestinian rioters being killed by Israeli troops.

The resolution passed with 29 votes in favor and 14 abstentions. The two countries that opposed the resolution were the US and Australia. The council explained that an investigation should be launched in light of the high number of fatalities and also condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians.”

Following the proposal, submitted by Botswana, Namibia, Pakistan, South Africa, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates, Council President Zaid Raed Al-Hussein will appoint the international commission to investigate “all alleged violations and abuses… in the context of the military assaults on large scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry completely rejected the resolution in a statement released shortly after the vote. “This decision proves once again that the council is a body with an automatic anti-Israeli majority dominated by hypocrisy and absurdity,” the ministry said. “The results of the investigation are well known in advance and it is clear to all that the purpose of the council is not to investigate the truth, but to violate Israel’s right to self-defense and to demonize the Jewish state.”

The ministry also stated that: “In complete contradiction to the claims made by the council, the vast majority of those killed on the Palestinian side are Hamas operatives as even the leaders of the terror group have acknowledged in their own voices.”

The ministry insisted that “Israel is acting legally and correctly in defending its sovereignty and preventing a mass assault on its border in order to kill Israelis and perpetrate terrorist attacks.”

The independent, international commission of inquiry appointed by the council will be asked to produce a final report next March.