UN rights council demands halt of arms sales to Israel

The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday demanded a halt to all arms sales to Israel, highlighting warnings of "genocide" in its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 33,000 people.

The resolution, which passed with 28 of the council's 47 member states voting in favour, six opposed and 13 abstaining, marked the first time the United Nations top rights body has taken a position on the bloodiest-ever war to beset the besieged Palestinian territory.

The text calls on countries to "cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel".

This, it said, is needed among other things "to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights".

It stresses that the International Court of Justice ruled in January "that there is a plausible risk of genocide" in Gaza.

Friday's draft resolution, which was brought forward by Pakistan on behalf of all Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states except Albania, calls for "an immediate ceasefire" and "for immediate emergency humanitarian access and assistance".

It comes after the U.N. Security Council in New York last week also finally passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire — thanks to an abstention from Washington, Israel's closest ally and largest arms supplier.

However, the ceasefire demand has had no impact on the ground.

The war in Gaza war began after Hamas's Oct. 7 attack, which resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Palestinian militants also took more than 250 hostages on Oct. 7, and 130 remain in Gaza, including 34 who the army says are dead.


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