UNHRC mulls settlement fact-finding mission

UN Human Rights Council set to debate the establishment of a mission on West Bank settlements and Jewish construction in e. J'lem.

March 19, 2012 05:57
1 minute read.
Israeli flag over settlements (illustrative).

Israeli flag flutters over settlement of Ofra 311 R. (photo credit: Laszlo Balogh / Reuters)

On Monday, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is set to debate the creation of a fact-finding mission on West Bank settlements and Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.

It is one of five resolutions on Israel and the Palestinians that will be presented to the council as part of its 19th session. Four of the resolutions were submitted by “Palestine,” even though it is not a UN member state.

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One of the four resolutions calls on the council “to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission to be appointed by the president of the council, to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

It also called on Israel to cooperate with the mission.

A second resolution calls on the council to affirm the Palestinian right to self-determination.

A third resolution condemns Israeli violence against Palestinians and calls on member states to provide emergency economic assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It also expresses concern at the firing of rockets at Israelis.

A fourth resolution calls for the implementation of the 2009 UN report by South African jurist Richard Goldstone on Israel’s Cast Lead military incursion against Hamas in the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009.

A fifth resolution submitted by Pakistan on behalf on the Organization of the Islamic Conference calls on Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria. It also decries Israeli “annexation” of that territory, and calls on Israel not to impose citizenship on Syrian citizens living in the Golan Heights.

UN Watch executive-director Hillel Neuer said this was the first time the council had looked to create a fact-finding mission on the settlements.

“The Palestinians at the UNHRC are frustrated that there’s actually been some attention recently to other things — such as the massacres this year in Syria and Libya — and so the latest fact-finding mission is a desperate attempt to keep the focus on Israel’s purported sins,” he said.

In regard to the call to return the Golan Heights, Neuer said the EU had decided not to engage with that resolution.

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