Israel has condemned the "hypocrisy and absurdity" of the UN Human Rights Council after it voted to send war crimes investigators to probe the shootings of Gaza protesters by Israeli forces.

"Israel totally rejects the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council, that once again has proven itself to be a body made up of a built-in anti-Israeli majority, guided by hypocrisy and absurdity," the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement.

Meeting in Geneva today, 29 of the council's 47 members voted for a resolution calling on the body to "urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry" - its highest-level of investigation.

Only two members, the United States and Australia, voted against the resolution, while 29 voted in favour and 14 abstained, including Britain, Switzerland and Germany.

The resolution came after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border on Monday as the US relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

In its statement, the Israeli foreign ministry said the results of the inquiry were a "foregone conclusion inherent in the wording of the resolution".

"It is clear to all that the purpose of the commission is not to arrive at the truth, but rather to impair Israel's right to self-defence, and to demonise the Jewish state," it added. 

Earlier, the UN human rights chief slammed Israel's reaction to protests along the Gaza border as "wholly disproportionate". 

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said: "Killing resulting from the unlawful use of force by an occupying power may also constitute wilful killings, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention", he warned.

Violations of the Geneva Conventions adopted in 1949 following World War II are commonly called "war crimes", although he did not explicitly use that word.

He pointed out though that while 60 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured in a single day of protests on Monday, "on the Israeli side, one soldier was reportedly wounded, slightly, by a stone".

"The stark contrast in casualties on both sides is ... suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response," he told the council.

Many of the Palestinians injured and killed "were completely unarmed, were shot in the back, in the chest, in the head and limbs with live ammunition," he said.

He added there was "little evidence of any (Israeli) attempt to minimise casualties".

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein 

"Although some of the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, used slingshots to throw stones, flew burning kites into Israel and attempted to use wire-cutters against the two fences between Gaza and Israel, these actions alone do not appear to constitute the imminent threat to life or deadly injury which could justify the use of lethal force."

The draft resolution, presented by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and backed by 47 UN member states, said the investigators should look into "all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law ... in the context of the military assaults on large scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018".

It said the aim should be to "establish the facts and circumstances" around "alleged violations and abuses including those that may amount to war crimes and to identify those responsible".

The special session of the council came at the request of Palestine and the United Arab Emirates, on behalf of Arab countries in the council, the UN said earlier this week.

In addition to the Arab countries, China, France, Brazil, Sweden, and Switzerland were among the 51 countries that supported the special session.