UN Human Rights Council Condemns Israel's Treatment of Golan Druze

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Israeli Druze protest in solidarity with their brethren in Syria, February 14, 2016.
Israeli Druze protest in solidarity with their brethren in Syria, February 14, 2016. Credit: Ofer Vaknin

The United Nations Human Rights Council - which has been harshly criticized by Israel and its allies in the international community for allegations of acuate bias against the Jewish state - passed a resolution on Thursday condeming Israel for its alleged abuse and violation of the human rights of the Druze who reside in the Golan Heights.

The decision was passed in the same week as the world marked the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, in which hundreds of thousands of people have been killed.

The resolution was advanced by a number of the few countries that still support the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, such as Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela, as well as Pakistan and Namibia. Thirty-one countries, headed by Russia and the Arab and Muslim members of the council, voted in favor of the resolution. Sixteen countries, among them all European members of the council, abstained.

The resolution says that the council is "Deeply concerned at the suffering of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan due to the systematic and continuous violation of their fundamental and human rights by Israel since the Israeli military occupation of 1967." The resolution further states as illegal the 1981 Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights, adding that Israel must cease settlement construction there.

The council's resolution calls on Israel to "desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens" in the Golan Heights and to allow them to visit their relatives in Syria.

The resolution also calls on UN member states not to recognize the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights.

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