Maldives backs UN move for intl' probe into Gaza violence

Maldives on Friday backed the United Nations (UN) move for an independent investigation into the recent killing of 60 Palestinians in Gaza.

Speaking at the Special Session held on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, Maldives Ambassador Dr Hala Hameed condemned the attacks by Israel on unarmed Palestinian civilians who were peacefully protesting to claim their sovereign right to return to their lands that Israel had occupied and denied them for decades.

"The Ambassador further added that the world witnessed a massacre on May 14th, we saw the loss of many innocent lives and injured many others near Gaza border due to the largely excessive use of force by the Israeli military," Maldives foreign ministry said in a statement.

"She further expressed sincere condolences on behalf of the Government and the people of the Maldives, to the brotherly Palestinian families who lost their loved ones at the superfluous, cruel and inhumane acts committed by the Israeli forces."

The United Nations human rights council held a special meeting on Friday night to discuss the “deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory”.

Twenty-nine countries, an overwhelming majority, voted to urgently set up an “independent, international commission of inquiry” to investigate recent violations of human rights and international humanitarian law there.

Only two countries voted against the proposal: Australia and the United States, although another 14 abstained.

The resolution also condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians”. Israel condemned the resolution, while the United States decried it as an example of a biased focus on Israel by the council.

Both lamented that it didn’t mention Gaza’s Hamas rulers, whom Israel blames for the violence.

The “independent, international commission of inquiry” mandated by the council will be asked to produce a final report next March.