Israel to bar UN fact-finding team from entering
Jerusalem: Israel cut working relations with
the United Nations Human Rights Council Tuesday and will bar a UN team from entering Israel or the West Bank for a planned
investigation of Jewish settlements, the Foreign Ministry
Israel accuses the council of having a pronounced
anti-Israel bias because of what it says is its
disproportionate focus on Israeli policy toward the
Israeli leaders have been in an uproar over the council's
adoption of a resolution last week condemning Jewish
settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem
and its decision to send a fact-finding mission to
Today, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced
Israel was severing working ties with the council.
"It means that we're not going to work with them. We're
not going to let them carry out any kind of mission for the
Human Rights Council, including this probe," said Foreign
Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said he was not
surprised by the Israeli move.
"Israel never cooperated with all fact finding missions
that were sent and established by the UN to investigate the
Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians," he said after
meeting his Danish counterpart in Copenhagen.
Much of the international community sees settlement
construction on occupied lands the Palestinians seek for a
future state as a major impediment to peacemaking, and has
pressured Israel to freeze it.