Spain complains after U.N. Gaza meeting not held in Spanish-funded multi-colored stalactite chamber

 The UN Human Rights Council held a meeting today in Geneva to plan its emergency session on Gaza scheduled for this Friday. The session, expected to last only one day, will be the fifth aimed at condemning Israel out of the nine special sessions the Council has held since it was launched in 2006.

Over that period, the Council — where a bloc of Islamic states backed by many African countries, Russia, China and Cuba holds an overwhelming majority — has condemned Israel 20 times, or 80 percent of all its resolutions. The only other countries to be strongly criticized have been Myanmar, four times, and North Korea, once. The Council has issued no condemnations of any countries in the majority bloc.

Meeting summary:

•         In the explanatory remarks as primary sponsor of the special session, Palestine condemned the “massacre” of Gazans, saying that there were more than 900 civilian targets and more than 600 civilians killed. Palestine highlighted the killing of civilians seeking shelter at an UNRWA school, as well as the targeting of ambulances and several aid workers. The delegate also expressed regret about the deaths on both sides.

•          Argentina, Brazil, and China said that they received the green light from their capitals to cosponsor the special session.

•         Spain complained that the session was not scheduled to be held in the new art ceiling room, a controversial project that cost $23 million and was paid for by Spanish corporations as well as taxpayers. After the secretariat explained that there were difficulties with holding the session in the room, Spain again argued that the room should be fully operational and every effort should be made to hold the session there. The President agreed.

•        Consultations on the resolution will be held tomorrow at 10 am.

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