United Nations Human Rights Council To Meet In Special Session Over Gaza Violence

Hamas leaders reject shipment of medical aid from Israel, refusing help from ‘murderers of our people.’

Spencer PlattGetty Images

A special session has been called to convene this Friday amongst the 47-member Human Rights Council of the United Nations over the recent realization of deadly violence in the heavily contested region of the Gaza Strip.

As the Washington Post reports, the past few days have seen heavy losses for the Palestinian protesters attempting to force their way into Israeli territory by storming the border fence. Israeli forces repelled the encroachment under withering live fire, drawing criticism from many in the international community as more than 60 Palestinians were recorded as killed, and hundreds more wounded.

“The Supreme Committee of the Great Return March said Wednesday the Palestinians would not accept medicine ‘from the murderers of our people.’ It accused Israel of ‘trying to improve its black image.'”

GAZA CITY, GAZA - MAY 15: People cheer as Hamas leader Ismail Haniya speaks to protesters at the border fence with Israel on May 15, 2018 in Gaza City, Gaza. Israeli soldiers killed over 50 Palestinians and wounded over a thousand as demonstrations on the Gaza-Israel border coincided with the controversial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem yesterday. This marks the deadliest day of violence in Gaza since 2014. Gaza's Hamas rulers have vowed that the marches will continue until the decade-old Israeli blockade of the territory is lifted. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)Featured image credit: Spencer PlattGetty Images

This martial sentiment was echoed by a prominent Islamic leader in Lebanon – which borders Israel – the former mufti Mohammed Rashid Kabbani, who was quoted as saying it is not sanctioned religiously for the Palestinians or any Arab or Muslim country to “surrender, reconcile, or make peace deals or give up any inch” of historic Palestine.

The longstanding claims of Islamic ownership of East Jerusalem has been a contentious issue on the matter since Israel initially annexed the area over a half-century ago. Though the international community has been divided over the matter, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), as well as Hamas, believe East Jerusalem to be the capitol of the Palestinian state.

U.S, President Donald Trump promised during his 2016 campaign to endorse the Israeli government’s position that East and West Jerusalem should be united as one, and further pledged to relocate the American embassy to Israel to the city of Jerusalem, further solidifying Israel’s claim to the holy city. In response, Hamas-led demonstrators led vocal protests in multiple locations in the Gaza Strip, charging the border fence and incurring substantial casualties.

Israel and her allies claim self-defence and national sovereignty as their motivation for their actions; Palestinians and their political allies claim a right to nationhood and the insult of the embassy move as their motivation. Israel, Canada, and the United States all formally consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

This fracas is far from over, however, as tensions show no sign of decreasing. Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva alleges that a Palestinian protest group named “The Iranian Justice Seekers Movement” is distributing leaflet literature calling for the bombing of the newly-opened American embassy, with $100,000 as reward.

The Arab League of 22 nations will also convene today in an emergency meeting to discuss a response to discuss the “illegal decision” to relocate the American embassy.