The Maldives has voted in favor of a UN Human Rights Council independent inquiry into Israel’s violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza strip
The council resolution passed on Wednesday with the support of 29 of the 46 member council. The US voted against the resolution, while seventeen countries, including many European states, abstained from the vote.
The inquiry’s aim is to “establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible,” as well as to find ways to protect civilians.
The HRC condemned “the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms” and called for and end to all attacks against civilians.
Calling for an immediate end to the illegal closure of the occupied Gaza Strip, the council called on the international community to provide urgent humanitarian assistance and expressed concern over the condition of Palestinians in Israeli detention centers.
During the special session, the Maldives criticised the HRC, arguing that “more timely action should have been taken on this issue by this council.”
The Maldives representative Ambassador-at-large Abdulla Hameed said the country strongly condemns the Israeli “mass killings and the daily massacre of innocent civilians” and called on Israel to “immediately stop the killing and start respecting human life and human dignity and immediately withdraw from the Gaza strip.”
Without naming specific states, the Maldives also criticised “the countries that provides arms and finances that enables Israel to carry out the killings.”
Such weapons and funds are “taking away the lives of pregnant women, infants and babies,” said Hameed, who said the Maldives demanded an end to such assistance.
The Maldives expressed concern over a “mellow reaction” from larger states, urging the international community to put all its efforts toward a long term resolution to the Middle-East conflict.
Accusing Israel of deliberately targeting hospitals and ambulances, the Maldives demanded that humanitarian agencies be provided unfettered access to Gaza.
At the UN Security Council’s July 22 session, the Maldives suggested a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, stating that the realisation of peace in the region will not be achieved “until bold decisions are made” in the council to “fulfill its mandate as outlined in the charter of the United Nations in protecting the vulnerable.”
At the council meeting yesterday, the Maldives called for a de-escalation of hostilities, restoration of calm , and the reopening of the Gaza strip based on the 2005 agreement on movement and access.
“The Maldives reiterates its enduring support for the legitimate and inalienable right to the Palestinian people to freedom, justice and dignity,” its representative said.
Meanwhile, the Gaza Fund established by the religious Adhaalth Party (AP) and civil society groups had received over MVR1.4 million (US$95,600) by Wednesday (July 23), a party representative told Minivan News today.
Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Mohamed Nasheed has now called on Maldivians to donate to the fund after previously suggesting it was “unwise” to donate to a fund established by the AP -questioning the party’s previous use of the Mosque Fund.
Saying that the organisers has assured the funds would be utilised to help the people of Gaza, Nasheed called on everyone to donate whatever is possible.
“We should always aim to assist those who are less fortunate than us, we must help those Muslims who are living under worse conditions than we are. We should always consider their situation,” he said speaking at a collection box in Malé.
The Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC) also began a fund raising programme this week, responding to an emergency appeal for US$14.7 million by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).
Collections for the programme will continue until August 15 through MRC bank accounts and donation boxes at public spaces. MRC branches outside Malé will also collect donations, which will be used provide medical supplies and shelter in Palestine, said the PRCS.
The Dhivehi Language Academy has organised a debate on the Palestinian issue, to be aired on local channels on the Independence Day (July 26). The topic for the debate is ‘A permanent solution to the Palestinian issue have not been reached because the Muslims are not united’.
Lasr Friday’s national sermon also concentrated on the Gaza crisis, lamenting the loss of “Muslim holy lands” and destruction of Muslim lands by “enemies of Muslims.”
“Great crimes which was never seen before in the history of humanity are being carried out by the Zionist system against the beloved people of Palestine. Violent acts are being carried out against them after keeping them under occupation for several years and depriving them of many human rights,” read the July 18 sermon.
The sermon also expressed grief over the failure of major global powers to end the attacks and called on Maldivians to protest “without disturbing foreign institutions within the country” and in accordance to the laws. It stated that working to end “the brutal war against Gaza” is a religious obligation and trying to “stop those atrocities is something every Muslims must do.”