Israel prevents UN Human Rights Council from probe into West Bank settlements
The UN Human Rights Council launched an investigation last week into Jewish settlements in the West Bank However the Israelis have broken off all relations with the Council. As a result a fact finding team will not be allowed to enter the territory or do any investigating.
An Israeli official said:"We are not working with them anymore," "We had been participating in meetings, discussions, arranging visits to Israel. All that is over." The U.S. voted against the investigation the only country to do so.
Israel claims that the UN group is hypocritical and biased against Israel. No doubt any group that considers the settlements illegal will be biased in Israel's view. An official complained:"They systematically and serially make all kinds of decisions and condemnations against Israel without even symbolically considering our positions," However, the official said that Israel would continue to cooperate with other UN bodies.
The UN Human Rights Council has objected to Israeli construction of new housing units for settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The group said that these actions undermine the peace process. The settlements are considered illegal by the International Court of Justice. However Israel is expanding them giving them more bargaining chips if and when the peace process ever begins again. For more see this article.