Israel slams decision of UN over settlement
GENEVA / ANKARA
A protestor waves a Palestinian flag in front of Israeli troops during a protest against Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank in this file photo.The United Nations launched an international investigation March 22 into Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried as “hypocritical.”
“This council has an automatic majority hostile to Israel and is hypocritical,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office after the U.N. Human Rights Council condemned Israel’s planned construction of new housing units for settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and adopted the resolution to launch a probe. “The U.N. Human Rights Council should be ashamed of itself,” Netanyahu said. The resolution orders a first probe into how Israeli settlements may be infringing on the rights of the Palestinian people and called on Israel to take serious measures to prevent settler violence, “including confiscation of arms and enforcement of criminal sanctions.”
Blast from Turkey
Meanwhile, Turkey has condemned Israeli plans to confiscate 123.5 hectares of Palestinian-owned land in the West Bank village of Al-Walaja for conversion into a park for surrounding settlements as another blow to peace efforts in the region. “Israel’s continuing settlement activities on occupied Palestinian land, despite all warnings by the international community, are unacceptable. This negative stance of Israel is blocking the peace process,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement late March 22.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.