12:48 GMT27 November 2020
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    Israeli-Palestinian Tensions Escalate Amid Gaza Violence (126)

    The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Monday it had summoned the ambassadors of Spain, Slovenia and Belgium after their countries voted at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in favor of an international investigation into the death of over 100 Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border.

    Spanish Ambassador to Israel Manuel Gomez-Acebo and Slovenian Ambassador to Israel Barbara Susnik were summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Monday in wake of their countries' votes at the UN Human Rights Council in favor of an international probe into the state of human rights in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Belgian Ambassador to Israel Olivier Belle is reportedly to be summoned on Tuesday.

    On May 18, the UN Human Rights Council voted to establish an independent mechanism to investigate alleged violations by the Israel Defense Forces, which resulted in the death of more than 100 protesters in the clashes and over 2,000 injured in wake of the United States opening its embassy in Jerusalem. The resolution was supported by 29 countries, with two votes against and 14 abstentions.

    READ MORE: IDF Prepares for New Mass Protests After Gaza Violence

    Responding to the UN vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the decision and the council, accusing it of bias against Israel:

    "The body that calls itself the human rights council has once again proven that it is a hypocritical and biased organization whose goal is to harm Israel and support terrorism. More than anything, it shows how irrelevant it is. Israel blatantly rejects this anti-Israel decision and will continue to defend its citizens and soldiers as part of our right to self-defense."  

    The situation along the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip has significantly worsened over the past several months, with Palestinian rallies called the Great March of Return which began on March 30 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian exodus after the creation of the Israeli state. The riots led to numerous clashes, especially severe the day that the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

    READ MORE: How US Embassy Transfer Risks Driving a Wedge Between Israel, Arab World

    Explaining the clashes, Israel said that Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, was responsible for the outbreak of violence in the region, saying that they were staging provocations along the border using rallies as a pretext.

    READ MORE: Israeli Defense Minister Calls Hamas ‘Cannibals' Responsible for Gaza Clashes

    Israeli-Palestinian Tensions Escalate Amid Gaza Violence (126)
    envoys, summons, vote, UN Human Rights Council, Gaza Strip, Palestine, Israel, West Bank, East Jerusalem
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