Israel won't work with fence watchdog
Israeli envoy says UN body is just a result of automatic majority in the UN General Assembly.
By MICHAL LANDO, NEW YORK
April 7, 2008 20:47
1 minute read.
security fence 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, the head of the UN body charged with collecting Palestinian claims of damages from the barrier, arrived in the region Sunday for a week long visit to begin establishing contacts and reviewing the situation on the ground.
Goryayev is carrying out his first visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank as Executive Director of the United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. UN officials said the meeting was a "technical visit" which will focus on the legal, technical and operational aspects related to the implementation of the watchdog's mandate. He will visit areas affected by the construction of the wall 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.