Israel, Palestinians trade barbs at UN debate

Geneva - Israel and the Palestinians accused each other of war crimes at an emergency debate at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday, and both said their actions during Israel's assault on Gaza were within the rules of international law.

“Israel will destroy Hamas' military infrastructure,” Israel's ambassador to the body, Eviatar Manor, told the debate, referring to the Palestinian militant group controlling Gaza.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad al-Malki addresses the 21st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories at the United Nations Office in Geneva on July 23, 2014. Picture: Denis Balibouse. Credit: Reuters

“However, the Gaza residents are not our enemy,” he said.

“Israel is fully committed to international law,” he added.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki urged world powers to end what he called Israel's impunity, adding: “Israel must be held accountable for its crimes.”

His speech was greeted by loud applause. - Reuters