Israel Summons Mexican Ambassador Over UN Rights Council Vote

Foreign Ministry says Israel expects that its good relations with Mexico extend to the diplomatic arena, following Mexico's vote in favor of probing alleged Israeli human rights violations

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United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet delivering her speech remotely to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva regarding Israel and Gaza on Thursday.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet delivering her speech remotely to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva regarding Israel and Gaza on Thursday.Credit: Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israel's Foreign Ministry summoned the Mexican ambassador to Israel, Pablo Macedo, to clarify his country's United Nations Human Rights Council vote in favor of an investigation into alleged violations during this month's fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and the wave of violence and clashes before and after it in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and across Israel.

The council voted on Thursday to launch an international investigation into alleged rights violations committed in the region starting from April 13, just under a month before the latest round of fighting in Gaza began.

The Foreign Ministry said that the head of its Latin American and Caribbean Division, Modi Ephraim, told Macedo that Israel expects that the good bilateral relations it has with countries such as Mexico "be reflected in the international arena as well."

He added that Mexico "should stand by Israel's side just as Israel has done for it, that it should show understanding for the security challenges Israel faces and recognize its right and duty to protect its citizens, who found themselves under fire by 4,300 Hamas rockets."

The Ministry said Ephraim added that it was unthinkable that Mexico would "stand beside Israel's enemies in a decision that does not contribute to peace and constitutes a reward for terrorism."   

Israel similarly summoned the Philippine ambassador on Sunday for voting in favor of the resolution.

The 47-member council adopted the resolution calling for the investigation last week with 24 states voting in favor, nine against, and 14 abstaining.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said that it would refuse to cooperate with the probe, which was brought by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations.

The Foreign Ministry called the Human Rights Council "a biased and anti-Israel body," adding that the council's decision "is radically one-sided, does not mention the terror organization Hamas at all, and ignores the 4,300 missiles fired at Israeli civilians."

Addressing the council's special session on Thursday, Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights said that Israel's deadly strikes on Gaza might constitute war crimes and that Hamas had violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets into Israel.

The decision also authorizes the committee to cover potential human rights violation in Israel itself, including the violence in mixed cities. The committee will therefore be permitted to investigate the escalations starting from April 13, in order to cover clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah and Temple Mount. 

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