Israel Cuts Contact with UN Rights Council

JERUSALEM — The Israeli foreign ministry decided on Monday to cut contact with the United Nations Human Rights Council after it said last week it would investigate Israeli settlements, a spokesman said.

"There was a decision by the foreign ministry to sever work contacts with the organisation," ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP, adding that Israel had yet to formally inform the council of its decision.

"There won't be working relations with them, conversations, passing papers, making visits, exchanging information, consulting one another, attending meetings," he added. "That's work, and it will not take place."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday called publicly for a boycott of the council, which last Thursday passed a resolution ordering the first investigation into how Israeli settlements may be infringing on the rights of the Palestinians.

"This hypocritical organisation has nothing to do with human rights. Its bias and lack of objectivity are obvious and we have no reason to cooperate with it," he told Israeli public radio.

The resolution was adopted by the 47-member council by 36 votes in favour and 10 abstentions. Only the United States voted against it.

The decision was condemned by Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slamming the council as "hypocritical" and saying the body "should be ashamed of itself." 

Agence France Presse / By

Posted at March 26, 2012, 4:48am

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