Top UN human rights body condemns assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin

24 March 2004

The top United Nations human rights body today strongly condemned the continuing grave violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin earlier this week.

The Geneva-based Commission on Human Rights voiced its condemnation in a resolution adopted by a roll-call vote of 31 in favour, two against - Australia and United States - and 18 abstentions after a special sitting to discuss the situation resulting from Monday's killing of Sheikh Yassin by Israel.

The resolution also noted with grave concern the implications of such targeted assassinations, liquidation and murder of political leadership by the Israeli occupation forces on the overall situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the possibility of a fresh wave of violence.

The Commission called on Israel to accord fullest respect to the principles of international humanitarian law and to desist from all forms of violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Yaacov Levy of Israel said the 53-member Commission had become accustomed to Israel-bashing, and today the forum had clearly reached its nadir by lending a hand and moral standing to terrorism, the most despicable of all evils. One saw a prominent UN organ manipulated, not for the first time, and heading toward the establishment of a precedent of lending support to acts of terrorism instead of condemning them unequivocally.

Nabil Ramlawy of Palestine said the Commission had often adopted resolutions requiring Israel to put an end to its violation of rights in the occupied Arab territories and to put an end to their operations of liquidation, assassination and extra-judiciary executions, crimes which violated the right to life, and yet the Government of Israel ignored them. The UN as a whole should take a stand on these flagrant violations and call upon Israel to respect the resolutions.


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