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UN Human Rights body to consider resolution calling for an arms embargo on Israel

THE United Nations Human Rights Council announced today that it was set to consider a draft resolution calling for an arms embargo on Israel.

If Friday’s debate approves the draft resolution it would mark the first time the UN’s top rights body has taken a position on the war raging in Gaza.

This comes as the UN’s top health official called for Israel to provide more aid access to the besieged territory.

The text of the resolution 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 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.”

The resolution was brought forward by Pakistan on behalf of 55 of the 56 UN member states in the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The only exception was Albania.

Meanwhile, World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised his team for the way they continued to put themselves in harm’s way to provide healthcare to the Palestinians.

He said that the “horrific” killing of the World Central Kitchen aid workers on Monday shows “the extreme danger” aid workers were working under.

Mr Tedros called on the Israelis to allow more entry points, including in northern Gaza.

He said: “Delays and denials of humanitarian missions not only prevent us from reaching those in need but also impact other operations and deliveries by diverting scarce resources.”

Mr Tedros said that since the start of the war, the WHO has verified 906 attacks on healthcare in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and Lebanon resulting in 736 deaths and 1,014 injuries.

He said: “Only 10 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are still able to function even partially. WHO will continue to support those hospitals to deliver services as best they can.”

He said he was “appalled” that much of al-Shifa, Gaza’s main hospital, has been flattened and “has been seeking permission to access what is left of the hospital, to speak with staff and to see what can be saved.” 

“But at the moment the situation looks disastrous.”

More than 32,900 Palestinians have been killed in the war, about two-thirds of them women and children, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

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