Israel summons Argentina's ambassador over anti-Israel UNHRC vote

Israel summons Argentina's ambassador over anti-Israel UNHRC vote

Argentina's vote in unacceptable to Israel as it ignores Hamas terrorism and the firing of close to 4,500 rockets at Israeli citizens, said the FM's envoy to Latin America and the Carribean.

The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned Argentine Ambassador to Israel Sergio Urribarri for clarification about his country’s vote at the UN Human Rights Council last week in favor of creating a permanent investigatory panel into alleged Israeli war crimes.

On Monday, the Foreign Ministry summoned Mexico's ambassador to clarify his country's decision, and on Sunday the Phillipine Ambassador to Israel was also summoned over his country's vote in the UNHRC. The Foreign Ministry is still expected to summon the Uzbekistani ambassador in the coming days.

Argentina's vote is unacceptable to Israel as it ignores Hamas terrorism and the firing of close to 4,500 rockets at Israeli citizens, Modi Ephraim, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Latin America and Caribbean division, said on Tuesday.

Ephraim noted that it is inconceivable that Argentina, whose country has suffered from terrorist attacks on Argentinian soil organized by both Iran and Hezbollah - with the bombing of the Israeli embassy in '92 and the subsequent bombing of the AMIA building in '94 - would shy away from condemning Hamas terrorism and instead support the UN commission.

"The expectation in Israel is that the Argentine government will stand by us in difficult times in light of the friendship between our countries over the years and the partnership in the fight against terrorism," Ephraim concluded.

The UNHRC voted 24-9 on Thursday to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes during the recent 11-day round of fighting with Hamas in Gaza and elsewhere. No European Union member states supported the resolution, and 14 countries abstained.

This was the first time the UNHRC established a permanent investigation of any UN member state. It was proposed by the Palestinian Authority and Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The countries who supported the motion were: Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

It was opposed by Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Germany, Malawi, Marshall Islands, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

The Bahamas, Brazil, Denmark, Fiji, France, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Togo and Ukraine abstained.

This “shameful decision is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week. “Once again, an immoral automatic majority at the council whitewashes a genocidal terrorist organization that deliberately targets Israeli civilians while turning Gaza’s civilians into human shields.

“This, while depicting as the ‘guilty party’ a democracy acting legitimately to protect its citizens from thousands of indiscriminate rocket attacks. This travesty makes a mockery of international law and encourages terrorists worldwide.”

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