UN rights council to consider call for Israel arms embargo

GENEVA   -  The UN Human Rights Council will consider a draft resolution on Friday calling for an arms embargo on Israel, citing the “plausible risk of genocide in Gaza”. If the draft resolution is adopted, it would mark the first time that the United Na­tions’ top rights body has tak­en a position on the war rag­ing in Gaza. The text condemns “the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects by Isra­el” in populated areas of Gaza and demands Israel “uphold its legal responsibility to pre­vent genocide”. The draft res­olution was brought forward by Pakistan on behalf of 55 of the 56 UN member states in the Organisation of Islam­ic Cooperation (OIC) -- the ex­ception being Albania. The text is co-sponsored by Bo­livia, Cuba and the Palestin­ian mission in Geneva. The eight-page draft demands Is­rael end its occupation of Pal­estinian territory and immedi­ately lifts its “illegal blockade” on the Gaza Strip. It calls upon countries to stop the sale or transfer of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, citing “a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza”. The draft also “condemns the use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare”, calls for an immediate ceasefire and “con­demns Israeli actions that may amount to ethnic cleansing”.

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