The Israeli Channel 2 reported last night that the Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has instructed his ministry staff to boycott Nikolay Mladenov, the UN Envoy to the Middle East.
According to the report, the decision came after Mladenov criticized Israel’s policies regarding the treatment of Palestinians and settlement construction, in addition to his critique of Lieberman himself.
A few weeks ago, Mladenov told the UN Security Council that the illegal expansion of settlements and the lack of Palestinian Authority (PA) control in Gaza are the primary obstacles to peace. He added that there had been “a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and continuing demolitions”.
Haaretz: "Lieberman Orders Israeli Defense, Military Officials to Boycott UN Envoy" https://t.co/6LL41TU76U
— Daniel Seidemann (@DanielSeidemann) September 15, 2016
Knesset member and former Minister of Justice, Tzivi Livni, refused Lieberman’s decision, noting that it “harms Israeli interests and security.”
She added, “As foreign minister he ordered his office to boycott the former envoy, Robert Serry. Then Operation Protective Edge happened and it emerged that Serry’s role was critical in terms of assessing the IDF’s position in relation to Hamas and the situation in Gaza, as well as for providing UN inspection of humanitarian programs so that Hamas shouldn’t exploit them. That’s also an Israeli interest.”
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) July 27, 2016
Lieberman has always stirred debates and arguments as a foreign minister of Israel due to his remarks which are a continuation of his support for settlement expansion. Two days ago, he expressed his support for the Israeli soldier who shot a wounded Palestinian in Hebron in the head, saying that he would maintain his position “Even if he (the soldier) did wrong.”
(PC, SAMA, Haaretz)