The United Nations Human Rights Council voted on Friday to send a commission to investigate accusations of war crimes surrounding the Israeli military's brutal crackdown on Palestinian protestors.
Since the end of March, at least 106 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by Israeli forces, including 15 children, according to Al Jazeera. More than 12,000 have also been injured by the aggressive tactics of the Israeli military, with some 3,500 Palestinians shot by live ammunition.
Palestine's Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called the U.N. decision a "step towards doing justice," Reuters reported. He also urged that the commission move forward quickly to "stop Israeli war crimes."
U.N. Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who hails from Jordan, opened the debate before the vote by criticizing Israeli aggression.
"There is little evidence of any attempt to minimize casualties," Al-Hussein said, according to The Independent.
"[Palestinians] are, in essence, caged in a toxic slum from birth to death; deprived of dignity; dehumanised by the Israeli authorities to such a point it appears officials do not even consider that these men and women have a right, as well as every reason, to protest."
Despite an international outcry against Israel's violent crackdown, the vote passed with only 29 nations out of the 47-member body supporting. The United States and Australia voted against the decision, while 14 others – including the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan – chose to abstain.
Considering the opening of the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on Monday and the continued support Western governments give to Israel, many are skeptical that a U.N. investigation will accomplish anything. Previous U.N. resolutions concerning Israeli aggression and occupation have done little, if anything, to stop the violence.