´Israel won´t let UNHRC settlements mission enter´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 03/25/12)
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Israel will not permit entry into the country members of the UN Human
Rights Council´s fact-finding mission to probe the effects of
settlements on Palestinian human rights, Deputy Foreign Minister
Danny Ayalon told Israel Radio Sunday morning.
Ayalon´s comments came following the decision made on Thursday by the
UNHRC to set up the mission.
Israel will consider whether it is worthwhile continuing its
membership at the UNHRC, Ayalon said, adding that the council is
being used for political bashing against Israel and is allowing
Palestinians to prepare what he called "Goldstone Two." He reiterated
previous statements made by government officials that Israel would
not cooperate with the mission.
The deputy foreign minister added that Israel must send a clear
message to the Palestinians that they cannot try to harm Israel and
simultaneously benefit from gestures that the the Jewish state makes
for them. "We have many resources but we will act with discretion and
will not shoot from the hip," he affirmed.
Israel is considering punitive measures against the Palestinian
Authority over the decision to establish the mission, Israel Radio
reported earlier Sunday. Part of these measures may include delaying
the transfer of tax revenues to the PA, or freezing joint economic
ventures between Jerusalem and the PA, a diplomatic source told
Eight senior cabinet ministers will convene Sunday to discuss
possible sanctions on the PA.
Israel froze tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority last year,
following UNESCO´s decision to admit the PA as a member state in
October. While Jerusalem released the funds in November, the
government warned it would freeze them again were the PA to continue
to pursue statehood unilaterally at the UN.
On Friday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman accused PA President
Mahmoud Abbas of engaging in “diplomatic terror” against Israel.
Liberman’s comments came during a meeting with Singapore President
Tony Tan in the southeast Asian country.
Calling the council a “theater of the absurd of hypocrisy and dual
standards,” Liberman said he would convene a meeting of senior
officials in the Foreign Ministry to determine whether Israel should
cut off all ties with the council, and to consider lobbying other
countries – first and foremost the US – to get them to leave the body.
That, however, is not going to be an easy chore, especially judging
from a statement the US State Department issued on Friday about the
council’s activity last week.
While the statement said the US “reaffirmed its strong opposition to
a series of anti- Israel measures that continue unnecessarily to
politicize the council’s human rights agenda,” it added that the
council’s 19th Regular Session helped “spur action on a series of
important human rights situations around the world, in part due to
vigorous US engagement.
“Our persistence in combating the council’s enduring anti-Israel
bias, coupled with our successful efforts to confront human rights
violations around the world, underscores the importance of United
States leadership and engagement at the Human Rights Council and
across the UN system,” the American statement said.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem
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