Israel will not work with 'unfair' UN fence watchdog

Israel will not cooperate with the UN body surveying Palestinian damages resulting from the W. Bank security barrier.

UN 88 (photo credit:)
UN 88
(photo credit: )
Israel will not cooperate with the head of a UN body surveying Palestinian damages resulting from the West Bank security barrier, an official in the Israeli mission to the UN said Monday. "This body is yet another body which is the result of the automatic majority in the General Assembly," the Israeli official said. "At the end of the day, this mandate is not helpful to Palestinians, as others are not, especially when the Israeli legal establishment does give remedy to Palestinians who claim they have been damaged by the security fence. Israel has stated since the beginning of this procedure that we are not cooperating with this UN body." Vladimir Goryayev, executive director of the United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the UN body charged with collecting Palestinian claims of damages resulting from the barrier, arrived in the region Sunday for a week-long visit. He expects to begin establishing contacts and reviewing the situation on the ground. This is Goryayev's first visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank as head of the UN body. UN officials said the meeting was a "technical visit" that would focus on the legal, technical and operational aspects related to the implementation of the watchdog's mandate. He is slated to visit areas affected by the construction of the fence and meet with local officials and potential claimants. "At this stage, he is not there to collect claims. He is there to talk to officials about how they will cooperate," said a UN spokesperson. The United Nations Register of Damage, which was established in 2006 in spite of objections from Israel, the United States and five other countries, calls for the establishment of the register and an office to serve as a comprehensive record of the damage caused as a result of the wall's construction.