Israel Targets UN Rights Office with ‘Exceptional and Harsh Measure’

Far-right Israeli minister Yisrael Katz. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israel lashed out at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Wednesday, soon after the UN body revealed a list of companies that have ties with illegal Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian Territories.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz has reportedly ordered the “exceptional and harsh measure” of suspending its ties with Michelle Bachelet’s OHCHR in retaliation to the latter’s decision to publish the list after years of delay.

OHCHR is “serving the BDS campaign,” Katz’s office claimed, referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to hold Israel accountable for its human rights violations and military occupation of Palestine.

“It was not immediately clear what practical implications the decision would have,” The Times of Israel newspaper reported, adding that, “the commissioner’s office has representatives stationed in Israel, but they are not known to enjoy good working relations with Israeli diplomats.”

“Officials in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening merely said that any requests they may have will not be answered as of today.”

“The Israeli decision is inconsequential and all of this is mere political saber-rattling,” said Ramzy Baroud, Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, “because Israel has already isolated itself from all relevant UN bodies such as UNHCR, UNESCO, and UNRWA.” 

“At this point, Israel holds no sway at the UN, with the exception of the UN Security Council, thanks to the US veto.” 

Earlier on Wednesday, OHCHR had released a report, listing over one hundred businesses that benefit from the Israeli occupation. 

Expectedly, Israel’s foreign ministry accused the UN of “shameful capitulation” to pro-Palestine groups, while Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki described the report as a victory for international law. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also slammed the decision, accusing the UN rights council of being a “biased and uninfluential body”. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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