UN to open permanent probe on Israel

UN Watch: Mughrabi Gate construction, other "violations" to be checked.

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March 13, 2007 00:54
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The United Nation's Human Rights Council is expected to place Israel under permanent investigation for its "violations" of international law in the territories - until such time as it withdraws to the pre-1967 border - according to Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. Neuer added that he received that information from diplomatic sources. It's one of at least four anti-Israel actions he expects the council to take during its fourth session, which started in Geneva on Monday and runs through April 5, Neuer told The Jerusalem Post from Geneva. The UN body was created in June to replace the Human Rights Commission, which was scrapped because it had a faulty membership composition and repeatedly singled out Israel. But since its inception, the 47-member body - which includes Cuba, Saudi Arabia and China - has continued to single out the Jewish State. It has issued eight anti-Israel resolutions, and none against any other nation. It has also held three special sessions on Israel. Neuer and Israel's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Yitzhak Levanon, said they expected this session to continue in that same pattern, although the council is also expected to discuss human rights abuses in other parts of the world, including in Darfur, Sudan. "I'm expecting there will be some clashes concerning Israel," Levanon told the Post. Neuer said Israel would be rapped for the Antiquities Authority's construction of an access ramp to the Temple Mount's Mughrabi Gate. The work has been widely condemned throughout the Muslim world. Neuer said the council would also take Israel to task for refusing entry to inquiry teams in July and in November. The first team was sent to investigate Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip following the kidnapping by Hamas of Cpl. Gilad Schalit in June. The second team was dispatched to investigate the accidental discharge of an IDF artillery barrage that killed 19 civilians in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip in November. Levanon said the investigators were denied entry because they were overtly biased against Israel. The Human Rights Council is also set to hear a report compiled by UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard that compares Israeli actions in the territories to that of the former apartheid system in South Africa.


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