Netanyahu ‘urged European leaders to support’ resolution against Israel

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters/Olivia Harris)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged several European leaders to support a UN report, even though it slammed Israel’s actions in Gaza, a report by the London-based Jewish Chronicle says.

The Israeli prime minister’s office rang British Prime Minister David Cameron on July 3. Cameron had planned to support Israel’s stance on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report, but was asked to change his stance, as Israel believed it was a considerably watered-down version of a previous report that was to be published, the newspaper reported.

One source told the newspaper: “We thought this was extraordinary, to put it mildly, but decided to do as Israel asked.”

READ MORE: 'Hold Israel accountable for occupation', eminent former European officials urge EU

The Israeli prime minister apparently phoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other “key allies” ahead of the vote, the Jewish Chronicle also said.

As a result, the resolution passed with 41 of the 47 members of the UNHRC voting in favor of the resolution, which accused both Israel and Palestine of possible war crimes, but focused more on the former. The US voted against the resolution, while five countries abstained.

However, in a statement on Monday, Israel’s foreign ministry denied it had been looking to influence how European leaders and members of the UNHRC voted, the Times of Israel reported.

“Israel announced to all the members of the Human Rights Council that it is strongly opposed to the resolution that was adopted, as was expressed in the State of Israel’s formal response,” the Foreign Ministry said, as cited by Haaretz. “At the same time, Israel asked the members of the council to ensure that the proposed text is not made harsher.”

The revelation that Netanyahu looked to influence European leaders came a day before the Israeli prime minister slammed the report, saying that it was “not interested in the facts,” and was “not interested in human rights.”

Netanyahu attacked the UNHRC, blaming the organization for condemning Israel on the day, July 4, when a projectile launched from Sinai hit southern Israel.

READ MORE: 'It’s all ours': Israeli deputy FM slams Western interference, saying Holy Land is Jewish

“On the day on which Israel was fired at from Sinai, and at a time when ISIS is committing vicious terrorist attacks in Egypt, as [Syrian President Bashar] Assad slaughters his people in Syria, and as the number of arbitrary executions per annum climbs in Iran – the UN Human Rights Council decides to condemn the State of Israel for no fault of its own, for acting to defend itself from a murderous terrorist organization,” he added.

The resolution, which was passed, called for the implementation of the report’s recommendations and the proper prosecution of Israeli officials responsible for the alleged violations during the Gaza conflict.

The decision comes on the anniversary of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge,” which was launched in response to rocket attacks from Gaza. The commission determined that 1,462 Palestinian civilians were killed, a third of whom were children. Israeli losses amounted to 67 soldiers and six civilians.