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The United Nations and Israel

Israel's Response to the UN Human Rights Commission Resolution, April 18, 2001

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
Jerusalem, 18 April 2001

Israel rejects the resolution, which was passed today (April 18) at the annual session of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, with the participation of 53 states.

The resolution concerning human rights violations in the territories, which was passed with the backing of the Arab countries and their supporters is not balanced. This resolution condemns one side while ignoring the continuing violence orchestrated by the Palestinians who chose not to continue peace negotiations after the Camp David Summit.

Instead of encouraging the Palestinians to resolve disagreements through negotiations, this one-sided resolution encourages them to continue the process of internationalization of the conflict, along with the use of violence and terrorism.

Israel has been repeatedly unfairly singled out at the commission on Human Rights. The only agenda item devoted to a specific state relates to Israel and Israel alone. We are deprived of a the right to become a member of any regional grouping, thus we also cannot be a full member of this Commission.

- See news report: "UN rights forum condemns Israel", Ha'aretz, Apr 19, 001 below and

Israel's New UN Role
An Achievement for Israeli Diplomacy - Israel Accepted to the UN's Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

UN rights forum condemns Israel

By Aluf Benn
Ha'aretz Correspondent and Agencies 19 April 2001

The United Nations forum for human rights, meeting in Geneva, strongly condemned Israel's "disproportionate" use of force in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip against the Palestinians, and called on it to stop building new Jewish settlements.

However, a group of Arab states failed to rally support from the European Union for a sharp rebuke of Israel for its actions in the territories. The European Union abstained from the vote, but resolutions against Israel were passed predominantly by developing countries.

The UN Commission on Human Rights overwhelmingly adopted three resolutions on the Middle East in a public roll-call vote.

In addition to the U.S., only Guatemala voted against the resolutions, while 22 countries supported them. The European Union countries, Canada, Brazil and Russia, abstained. Israel has no voting rights in the body, only observer status.

The body voted on three resolutions, which condemned Israel for violating Palestinian human rights in the territories, by "indiscriminate and disproportionate" use of violence. Special criticism was directed against the policy of assassinations of senior Palestinian activists by Israeli security forces. The commission also passed a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from all the territories it has occupied since 1967.

The Foreign Ministry rejected the accusations, describing them as "biased.

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