|ALJAZEERA.NET, Jan. 13, 2009|
A resolution condemning Israel's military offensive in Gaza has been adopted by the UN Human Rights Council.
The non-binding resolution, approved in Geneva on Monday, said Israel's operation had "resulted in massive violations of human rights of the Palestinian people".
More than 935 Palestinians have died during the fighting, many of them women and children, and a further 4,300 have been wounded.
At least 25,000 have been displaced due to the ongoing bombardment, but are unable to flee the overcrowded territory as crossing points remain closed.
The resolution, drafted by Arab, Asian and African countries, called for an international mission to be sent immediately to the Gaza Strip to investigate Israel's actions.
It also called for an immediate end to the "launching of the crude rockets against Israeli civilians" by the Palestinian factions.
Israel dismissed it as one-sided and reflecting the "fairytale world" of the 47-member council.
The text of the document said the council "strongly condemns the ongoing Israeli military operations ... which have resulted in massive violations of human rights of the Palestinian people and systematic destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure".
At least 40 people died last Tuesday when the UN-run school they were sheltering in was hit by Israeli fire.
All European Union countries abstained and Canada voted against the resolution.
"Many states praised the Palestinian delegation for the flexibility they had shown in the negotiations, but they could not quite reach a consensus."
Speaking in the Gaza Strip, John Ging, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) operations in Gaza, repeated his call for an immediate end to the fighting.
"I say now, to all politicians, here in Israel and internationally, you have an obligation to the ordinary people in the name of humanity and all that is civilised, we need to stop this now. Those who help will never be forgotten.
"Israel is responsible for its own actions and it is very clear to us that there are a lot of actions in this conflict that will need to be fully investigated independently and internationally.
"Evidence of war crimes is presenting itself each day," he told Al Jazeera.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a former UN secretary-general, added his perspective on the situation, saying the assault on Gaza "is a present the Israelis gave to the fundamentalists".
"It will reinforce extremists, fundamentalists, all over Arab countries and even inside Israel," he said.
Boutros-Ghali headed the UN from 1992 to 1997.