Israel cuts contact with U.N. rights body over probe (REUTERS) Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Toby Chopra JERSALEM, ISRAEL 03/26/12 8:43am EDT)
Reuters News Service
Reuters News Service Articles-Index-Top
(Reuters) - Israel said on Monday it has severed contacts with the
U.N. Human Rights Council after its launch last week of an
international investigation into Jewish settlements in the occupied
The decision, announced by a Foreign Ministry spokesman, meant that
the fact-finding team the council planned to send to the West Bank
will not be allowed to enter the territory or Israel, said the
spokesman, Yigal Palmor.
"We are not working with them any more," Palmor said about the Geneva-
based forum. "We had been participating in meetings, discussions,
arranging visits to Israel. All that is over."
The international investigation was launched on Thursday, with the
United States isolated in voting against the initiative brought by
the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli leaders swiftly condemned the U.N. body, saying it was
hypocritical and biased toward Israel.
"They systematically and serially make all kinds of decisions and
condemnations against Israel without even symbolically considering
our positions," Palmor said.
He said Israel would continue to cooperate with other U.N. bodies.
The U.N. Human Rights Council condemned Israel´s planned construction
of new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East
Jerusalem, saying they undermined the peace process and posed a
threat to the two-state solution and the creation of a contiguous and
independent Palestinian state.
About 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West
Bank and East Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in a 1967 war.
Palestinians want the territory for an independent state along with
the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Palestinians say settlements, considered illegal by the International
Court of Justice, the highest U.N. legal body for disputes, would
deny them a viable state.
Israel cites historical and Biblical links to the West Bank and says
the status of settlements should be decided in peace negotiations. (©
Thomson Reuters 2012. 03/26/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY