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The Daily TIP: UN Human Rights Council Votes to Investigate Israel over Violence at Hamas-Led Riots

Posted by Tip Staff - May 18, 2018

UN Human Rights Council Votes to Investigate Israel over Violence at Hamas-Led Riots
Swiss FM: UNRWA Hinders Peace by Fueling "Unrealistic" Hopes
Mobileye Gets Contract to Install Self-Driving Systems into 8 Million Vehicles
Students from around the World Participate in Model UN Debate Competition in Israel

UN Human Rights Council Votes to Investigate Israel over Violence at Hamas-Led Riots

Following the deaths of a reported 62 rioters, 50 of whom were claimed by Hamas, during riots on Monday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to initiate an investigation into the killing of the rioters by Israeli forces, The Times of Israel reported Friday.

Twenty-nine council members voted for the investigation, only two - the United States and Australia - opposed the investigation, and 14 members abstained. The council also condemned what it called the "indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians.”

What the council called an "independent, international commission of inquiry," is to report its findings next March. Israel has said that it will not cooperate with the investigation.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the council "the stark contrast in casualties on both sides is… suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response,” but, according to the Times, "placed no responsibility on the Hamas terror group whose leader openly called to breach Israel’s border and violently attack the people living there."

In a statement to the council, a representative of NGO Monitor observed that "Yesterday, a senior Hamas official admitted that 50 of the claimed 62 dead in Gaza were Hamas combatants. Islamic Jihad acknowledged 3, including a 16-year old child soldier."

In a statement made on behalf of the NGO UN Watch, Col. Richard Kemp, who commanded British troops in Afghanistan, rejected the assertions made in the council, calling them "a complete distortion of the truth."

Swiss FM: UNRWA Hinders Peace by Fueling "Unrealistic" Hopes

UNRWA, the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency, is fueling “unrealistic” hopes of return, thereby hindering peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the Swiss Foreign Minister has said.

The Times of Israel reported on Thursday that, in an interview given to several German-language newspapers, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said, “It is unrealistic that this dream [of return] will be fulfilled for all.”

“But UNRWA maintains this hope. For me, the question is whether UNRWA is part of the solution or part of the problem,” he said, concluding that UNRWA is both. “The U.N. agency, he said, “worked as a solution for a long time, but today it has become part of the problem.”

Cassis pointed out that the number of Palestinians classified as refugees by UNRWA rose from 750, 000 in 1950 to 5 million in 2013 due to that organization’s unique policy of automatically awarding hereditary refugee status.

The minister continued: “It provides ammunition to continue the conflict. For as long as Palestinians live in refugee camps, they will want to return to their homeland,” adding that “By supporting UNRWA, we are keeping the conflict alive.”

Cassis’s comments came after weeks-long Hamas-orchestrated riots along the Israeli-Gaza border, calling for the descendants of Palestinian refugees to be able to return to their ancestors’ homes in what is now Israel.

The minister said his country would continue to fund UNRWA, but urged that more needs to be done to integrate Palestinian refugees into their host communities.

Mobileye Gets Contract to Install Self-Driving Systems into 8 Million Vehicles

Mobileye, the Israeli autonomous driving startup that was bought by Intel last year, announced that it had closed a deal with a European automaker to provide self-driving systems for 8 million vehicles, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Reuters described the deal, Mobileye's largest one yet, as "a sign of how carmakers and suppliers are accelerating the introduction of features that automate certain driving tasks – such as highway driving and emergency braking – to generate revenue" even though fully automated driving remains "years away" from implementation in the mass-market.

The systems are to be installed beginning in 2021, using the Moblileye's next-generation EyeQ5 chips, which are to be designed for fully autonomous driving. Intel intends to roll out its EyeQ4 chips in the near future.

According to the terms of the contract, Mobileye will provide partial automation - requiring that the driver stay alert - for some of the manufacturer's models and more advanced automation, requiring less input from the driver for other models.

Some 27 million cars currently on the road have some sort of driver assistance system, and Mobileye owns a 70% market share of those systems.

Mobileye intends to supply General Motors, Nissan, Audi, BMW, Honda, Fiat Chrysler and China’s Nio, with its Level 3 technology by next year.

In Jerusalem, where Mobileye is headquartered, it has begun testing its Level 4 technology with Ford Fusion hybrids. On recent tests, witnessed by Reuters, the cars were able to navigate Jerusalem's highways without driver interference during middle-of-the-day traffic.

Students from around the World Participate in Model UN Debate Competition in Israel

Last month, Model UN members from countries including Belgium, Congo, France, Germany, Madagascar, South Africa, South Korea and the United States — all in Israel this year for studies abroad — joined Israeli Jewish and Arab peers at Ariel University for the first-ever MUN Debate Competition in Israel.

“The conference consisted of at least one student from each continent, which is really wonderful to see,” says Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science major Michael Polevoy, vice president of Ariel University Model UN (ArMUN). “Israel is networking with tomorrow’s world leaders.”

Polevoy said the one-of-a-kind event used some of the latest simulation technology.

The 70 delegates were divided into groups of three, each representing a state on the committee determining ways in which the growing threat of cyber terrorism should be dealt with.

Competitors were divided into two rooms, the formal discussion room and the research room. In the discussion room, one representative from each country negotiated with the other countries. In the research room, two representatives of the other countries watched the discussion room live and conducted research accordingly to assist their representative in the formal discussion room.

The winners of the April debate competition were a team from Tel Aviv University (first place) and a mixed team from Tel Aviv University and IDC (second place).

The Israeli Model UN Association includes groups active on 13 academic campuses. In August 2018, the TLVMUN will host an international Model UN conference.

(via Israel21c)

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