The United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution urging accountability for potential war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. The Friday’s vote saw 28 countries in favour, 13 abstentions, and six opposing the resolution. The council also demanded the cessation of all arms sales to Israel, citing concerns of ‘genocide’ in Gaza.

The UN body stressed that the vote was necessary to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses. It highlighted the International Court of Justice’s January ruling, which identified a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza, and expressed serious concern over reports of significant human rights violations, including potential war crimes and crimes against humanity, in the area.

Amid mounting international criticism, Israel has allowed the reopening of the Erez crossing into northern Gaza and the temporary use of its Ashdod port to bolster aid supplies, the Jewish state’s prime minister’s office said early on Friday. Additionally, Israel has sanctioned the expanded entry of aid from Jordan through the Karem Abu Salem crossing. US President Joe Biden urged Netanyahu to empower negotiators to swiftly conclude a deal.

However, negotiations between Israel and Hamas have hit a stalemate. Hamas official Osama Hamadan highlighted this deadlock in a recent news briefing, citing Israel’s refusal to withdraw troops, permit aid access, and allow Palestinians to return to the northern Gaza Strip.

Israel, backed by the US, the UK and other western governments, has killed at least 33,091 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded 75,750 in Gaza since 7 October.

Meanwhile, Iran mourned the loss of seven officers in a suspected Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy compound in the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday. Israel has refrained from providing any official statement regarding the attack. This incident marks a heightened phase in Israel’s efforts against Iran’s regional allies and raises concerns about the potential for broader conflict. Reports say Israel’s military is bolstering its defences for a possible retaliation from Iran following the the deadly air attack on the Iranian consulate. This involves increasing manpower and mobilising reserve soldiers to operate air defences.

After a cascade of international condemnation, Israel is investigating its own killings of aid workers in Gaza. Israeli officials suggest that findings may be revealed in the coming days, following earlier indications of a longer timeline. The World Central Kitchen (WCK) has called for an impartial investigation into these strikes and has urged several countries, including Australia, Canada, Poland, the US, and the UK, to support this endeavour given that citizens from these nations were among those killed.