'Israel bias' row enters UN rights council stage

2017-03-20 21:50
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - A United Nations rights expert issued a blistering criticism of Israel's policies on Monday, deepening a row over alleged anti-Israel bias within the UN following US pressure.

In a report, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, charged Israel with "the subjugation of (Palestinians') humanity" and intensifying a crackdown on human rights campaigners.

Top diplomat

Lynk made the claims in a report presented to the UN rights council during the Geneva-based body's mandated session on Israel, known as Agenda Item Seven.

Israel is the only country targeted with a dedicated rights council agenda item.

The Jewish state and its supporters, notably in Washington, have repeatedly highlighted Agenda Item Seven as evidence of the council's credibility gap, arguing it cannot be effective while disproportionately targeting Israel.

President Donald Trump's administration has taken those concerns to the next level, with top diplomat Rex Tillerson publicly threatening to withdraw from the council over its "biased agenda item against Israel."

The State Department blasted the council again Monday for holding its Israel debate and vowed in a statement "to vote against every resolution put forth under this agenda item."

Washington also boycotted Monday's event that saw a group of majority Muslim nations repeatedly denounce Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

The European Union condemned the continuing loss of life on all sides but voiced concern that Lynk's mandate and the Israel debate was one-sided.

Latest findings

Lynk's scathing findings were issued days after UN official Rima Khalaf resigned over another report in which she accused Israel of being an "apartheid state".

Khalaf, a Jordanian national, said she had resisted a request from UN chief Antonio Guterres to withdraw the report.

Trump's administration had demanded that the report by UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia be withdrawn and welcomed Khalaf's resignation.

Meanwhile, as part of its obligations under the Israel agenda item, Guterres's office presented its latest findings to the council on Monday.

"Chronic violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties have persisted," the secretary general's office said, condemning Israel over settlement expansion among other offences.

Guterres faces heightened risks in taking on Trump's administration over Israel.

Washington funds roughly a quarter of all UN activities but Trump's initial budget proposal foresees significant reductions.

Guterres's office last week urged the US to rethink any "abrupt funding cuts."

Read more on:    un  |  michael lynk  |  donald trump  |  rex tillerson  |  switzerland  |  israel  |  palestine territories  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.