UN Body Backs Palestinian State
By Aluf Benn
Ha'aretz Diplomatic Correspondent
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights passed a
resolution on Friday supporting the establishment of a
sovereign and independent Palestinian state based on the
Palestinian people's right to self-determination. The
resolution went through by a majority of 48-2 (with the U.S.
and Guatemala opposing), and two abstentions (Canada
and Romania). The European Union supported the
Israeli ambassador to Geneva, Yaakov Levy, said that this
was a diplomatic issue better left to negotiations between the
parties involved. PLO ambassador Nabil Ramlawi said that
the Palestinian right to self-determination was "the heart of
the problem in the Middle East."
The commission began its debate of the situation in the
territories on March 28 and found that Israel was using force
disproportional to the threat posed to it. According to the
committee chair, John Dugard, the attacks against Israel
were perpetrated by individuals and "sparsely organized"
forces, while Israel was attacking the Palestinians with a
highly superior military force.
UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson said that
the continued occupation was causing "extensive physical
and emotional damage" to the Palestinians, but recognized
the fact that numerous Israelis felt the Intifada posed an
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