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Philippines' vote on UN probe into Gaza conflict won't affect ties with Israel — Palace

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Philippines' vote on UN probe into Gaza conflict won't affect ties with Israel â Palace
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is seen on a giant screen delivering her speech remotely at the opening of a UN Human Rights Council emergency meeting on occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem, in Geneva on May 27, 2021. Israel's recent barrage of deadly airstrikes on Gaza might be war crimes, the UN rights chief warned, adding she had seen no evidence the attacked buildings were used for military purposes.
AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines' vote backing a probe into the alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza Strip won't affect its "excellent" ties with Israel, Malacañang said on Thursday.

The Israeli foreign ministry recently summoned Philippine ambassador to Tel Aviv Macairog Alberto to seek clarification on the Philippines' vote at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council. The Southeast Asian country favored the creation of an investigative committee against Israel over its military campaign "Operation Guardian of the Walls.”

Gilad Cohen, the Israeli foreign ministry's deputy director-general for Asia Pacific, has said it was "unacceptable" that a country like the Philippines, "which itself endures radical and murderous Islamist terrorism," would support a draft resolution that ignores the "war crimes" of Palestinian militant group Hamas.

"The vote in the UN Human Rights Council does not in any way, or should not in any way affect our excellent bilateral relations with Israel," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

The Palace spokesman claimed that Israel was one of President Rodrigo Duterte's favorites among the countries he visited. The Philippine leader visited Israel in 2018.

"One of the countries we rely upon for assistance in modernizing our armed forces is Israel. We are also arranging the non-stop flight from Israel to the Philippines," Roque said.

"So that (vote) has nothing to do with our very close ties with the state of Israel," he added.

Roque said Duterte does not micromanage the Philippines' delegation to the UN Human Rights Council even if he is the chief architect of foreign policy. He said the Philippine delegation has consistently voted in favor of the right of Palestinians to have their own state in the same way that the Philippines backed the creation of the Jewish state of Israel.

"The Philippines’ traditional position in the United Nations has been to go with the Palestinian cause. Each year there are several of these recurring Israel versus Palestine resolutions that the UN normally passes these resolutions with the majority vote in favor of the Palestinians, so, usually it is the US and Israel who are traditionally voting against it," Roque said, quoting a statement of the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs.

"In short, our vote has been consistent with the previous positions of the Philippines. Although we say that, at the same time we very much value our bilateral relations with Israel," he added. 

DIPLOMACY

ISRAEL

PALESTINE

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 15, 2022 - 1:34pm

More than 100 rockets were fired Monday from Gaza towards Israel by multiple Palestinian armed groups, Hamas Islamists who control the blockaded enclave said. 

The Israeli army had earlier confirmed at least 45 rocket launches, most targeting areas near the Gaza border, but seven were directed towards Jerusalem. 

The army later sent an update that the rocket fired had continued through the night. No Israeli fatalities have been reported. —  AFP

September 15, 2022 - 1:34pm

A Palestinian teenager was killed Thursday during clashes with the Israeli army near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, medical sources say.

Uday Salah, 17, was "killed by a bullet to the head fired by the Israeli occupation soldiers in Kafr Dan, Jenin governorate", the Palestinian health ministry says.

The Israeli army says its forces were "mapping out the homes of the terrorists who killed Major Bar Falah and arresting suspects throughout the West Bank".

Falah was killed on Wednesday in clashes near the Jalameh checkpoint, north of Jenin, which also killed Palestinians Ahmed Abed and Abdul Rahman Abed. — AFP

September 14, 2022 - 5:28pm

An Israeli soldier and two Palestinians were killed in clashes early Wednesday near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, an area hit by waves of recent deadly unrest.

Israel's army said a major "was killed overnight during operational activity adjacent to the Gilboa Crossing during an exchange of fire with Palestinian terrorists".

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed "the martyrdom of the two young men" in clashes near the checkpoint known to Palestinians as Jalameh, north of Jenin.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa identified the dead Palestinians as Ahmed Ayman Ibrahim Abed, 23, and Abdul Rahman Hani Subhi Abed, 22, originally from the village of Kufr Dan outside Jenin.

The Jalameh checkpoint is a major throughfare for goods coming into the West Bank from Israel. -- AFP

September 14, 2022 - 2:51pm

An Israeli soldier and two Palestinians were killed in clashes early Wednesday near a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, the army and the Palestinian health ministry say.

"An IDF (army) officer was killed overnight during operational activity adjacent to the Gilboa Crossing during an exchange of fire with Palestinian terrorists," an army statement says.

The Palestinian health ministry confirms "the martyrdom of the two young men" in clashes near the checkpoint known to Palestinians as Jalameh, north of Jenin.

Palestinian official news agency Wafa identifies the dead Palestinians as Ahmed Ayman Ibrahim Abed, 23, and Abdul Rahman Hani Subhi Abed, 22. — AFP

September 5, 2022 - 3:31pm

A 19 year-old Palestinian was shot dead by the Israeli army early Monday in Qabatiya, south of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

"Taher Mohamed Zakarneh was shot dead by the occupation (Israeli) bullets in Qabatiya," a Palestinian health ministry statement said.

He died after being "hospitalised with a bullet to the head, a bullet to the right foot, a bullet to the left thigh, and burns", the statement added.

The Israeli army said it had "conducted counterterrorism activity in the city of Jenin and in the town of Qabatiya and apprehended five wanted individuals suspected of terrorist activity".

"During the activity, violent riots were instigated. The rioters hurled rocks, explosive devices and Molotov cocktails at the forces and shots were heard in the area," the statement added.

"The soldiers responded with live fire, hits were identified," it said. — AFP

September 4, 2022 - 4:08pm

The Hamas Islamist movement ruling the Gaza Strip announced on Sunday that it executed five Palestinians, including two for "collaboration" with Israel.

The executions for collaboration are the first carried out in the coastal Palestinian enclave for more than five years.

"On Sunday morning, the death sentence was carried out against two condemned over collaboration with the occupation (Israel), and three others in criminal cases," Hamas said in a statement.

It added that the defendants had previously been given "their full rights to defend themselves".

Hamas's interior ministry provided the initials and years of birth of the five executed Palestinians, but did not give their full names.

The two executed over "collaboration" with Israel were two men born in 1978 and 1968. — AFP

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