Israel considers steps against PA, Human Rights Council (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Itamar Eichner Published: 03.25.12, 14:58)
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State officials say government to discuss freezing PA funds, joint
projects and boycotting Human Rights Council following UN decision to
Israeli state officials said that Israel is considering "penal"
measures against the Palestinian Authority as well as various steps
against the United Nations Human Rights Council, Yedioth Ahronoth
Last Thursday, the Council passed a resolution ordering a first probe
into how Israel´s West Bank settlements may be infringing on
Palestinians´ rights. The forum of eight ministers will discuss
possible responses this week, the sources said.
The cabinet will reportedly consider freezing tax money Israel
collects for the PA, as well as halting joint financial projects such
as an initiative to grant 5,000 extra work permits for Palestinians.
It is nevertheless unlikely that Israel will opt to freeze funds.
This option was last employed in November in response to UNESCO´s
decision to upgrade the PA´s status. This prompted worldwide
condemnation and Israel was forced to release the funds a month and a
Israel has already decided it won´t be cooperating with the
commission of inquiry and will apparently ban its members from
entering the West Bank, as was done in the Goldstone committee case.
"As far as we’re concerned there is no moral or political validity to
the UN´s inquiry commission," Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon
said. "That is why we won´t allow them to operate here."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel is considering
boycotting the Human Rights Council or recalling its ambassador to
the UN institutions in Geneva. However, such steps are likely to be
employed only in the case that Israel convinces other countries such
as the US to do the same.
A senior state official said this weekend that the Palestinians have
harmed themselves by pushing for the establishment of the committee.
Six of eight European Union states abstained in the vote on the
resolution, the official said, exposing a divide in the EU´s stance
Softening UN reports on children
Meanwhile, Israel is also working to soften a UN report on the
treatment of children in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The UN´s
annual report on Children and Armed Conflict includes a special
chapter on Israel.
A draft copy of the report, which was obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth,
levels harsh criticism at Israel. It accused security forces of
trying to recruit Palestinian children as collaborators and warns of
a rise in settler violence directed at Palestinian kids. The report
also contains testimonies of 116 Palestinian children who were
arrested and reported of solitary confinement and even beatings.
The Foreign Ministry together with the IDF and Justice Ministry has
already succeeded in softening the report´s wording compared with
past reports. The report now also addresses the Itamar massacre and
the missile attack on a school bus. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth
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