U.K.'s Foreign Minister: We Will Oppose Every UN Human Rights Council Measure Against Israel

Jeremey Hunt says council's a discriminatory focus on Israel strengthens the 'hard and trampled road of self-righteousness'

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Haaretz
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Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaks to the media during the informal meeting of the European Union foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania, January 31, 2019.
Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaks to the media during the informal meeting of the European Union foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania, January 31, 2019. Credit: \ INQUAM PHOTOS/ REUTERS
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Haaretz

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Jeremey Hunt said his government will oppose every United Nations Human Rights Council measure on Israel's violation of Palestinian human rights in the West Bank and Gaza.

In an article written in the Jewish Chronicle, Hunt referred to the "Item 7" resolution, which he says "undermines the credibility of the world's leading human rights forum" because of its narrative that "one side alone holds a monopoly of fault."

Hunt said that Britain would vote against all resolution texts in the council's session on Friday, but that this did not mean that his government would "hold back from voicing concerns about Israel's actions".

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Britain joins the United States and Israel's criticism of UNHRC for making Israel's human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories a permanent agenda item. Agenda Item 7, under which Israel's human right record is debated at every session, is unique in that no other country has an agenda item dedicated to it.

Item 7, Hunt said, is disproportionate, discriminatory and "obstructs the quest for peace in the Middle East" while strengthening the "hard and trampled road of self-righteousness." He said that the "U.K. will not indulge in illusions. We will continue to press for the abolition of Item 7."

Ahead of Friday's vote, the 47 member council discussed seven reports alleging human rights violations by Israel, including one which claims it committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza March of Return and border protests last year.

In late February, the council's investigative commission determined that the great majority of Gaza protesters who were killed by Israeli forces — 154 out of 183— had been unarmed, and that there are "reasonable grounds" that Israeli security forces violated international law.

Last year, both the United States and Israel dropped out of the Human Rights Council, citing its discriminant focus on Israel.

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