Breaking News: Israel Refuses UN Access
Israel Refuses United Nations Humanitarianists Access to
First published on
By Selwyn Manning.
This news has just come in. The Israeli
government has announced that it will not facilitate entry
of the UN Human Rights mission into Israel and the
Palestinian territories. The mission was to have been led by
UN rights chief Mary Robinson, former anti-apartheid leader
Cyril Rhamaposa and Felipe Gonzales.
the UN Secretary-General's Spokesman released details of
Israel’s refusal a short time ago. He says: "Following a
telephone call with former Spanish foreign minister Felipe
Gonzalez, who was to have gone on that mission and Israeli
foreign minister, Shimon Peres, the members have learned
that it will not be facilitated by the Israeli authorities."
The UN Human Rights Commission had requested Mary
Robinson to lead a mission to the Middle East to bear
witness to human rights violations on both sides.
United Nations has been lobbying Israel to allow diplomats,
human rights and aid agencies full and complete access to
the Palestinian territories. But today’s announcement is
likely designed to halt United Nations moves to gather
information on potential atrocities committed against the
Palestinian people by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and
Also UN Secretary General Koffi Annan has
been forthright in calling for an armed multinational
peacemaking force to take occupancy in the Palestinian
territories. Annan has also issued statement after statement
calling for Israel to cease its “illegal occupation” of
Palestinian towns , settlements and cities and control over
the territories cited as under Palestinian Authority
to United Nations radio news...
States has tempered its stance against Israel’s offensive by
degrees. Two weeks ago US President George W Bush issued
demands that Israel cease killing Palestinians in the West
Bank and Gaza territories and orchestrate an immediate
withdrawal. Israel refused. The Whitehouse was in an
embarrassing position – its ally and “close friend” was
dealing it rhetorical blow after blow, always defiantly
insisting human rights abuses against Palestinian civilians
were secondary to Israel’s internal security.
now, after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cited the end
of “phase one” are troops pulling back from offensive
operations in the West Bank. The word among Palestinians is
that Israel is now about to advance into the Gaza areas with
a cleansing force.
The diplo-speak from the
Whitehouse is now cautious. Bush: “All parties must realize
that the only long-term solution is for two states -- Israel
and Palestine -- to live side by side in security and peace.
This will require hard choices and real leadership by
Israelis and Palestinians, and their Arab neighbours. The
time is now for all of us to make the choice for peace.
America will continue to work toward this vision of peace in
the Middle East, and America continues to press forward in
our war against global terror. We will use every available
tool to tighten the noose around the terrorists and their
supporters. And when it comes to the threat of terror, the
only path to safety is the path of action.” Listen
to US President George W Bush's Whitehouse radio address...
The United States does not endorse a
multinational force in the Middle East. This is consistent
with the Bush administration’s positioning against the UN on
foreign policy – it has deemed the UN impotent on many
counts, particularly by repeatedly being the sole vetoing
member opposing security council resolutions on Middle East
solutions. It does endorse allowing human rights and aid
agencies access to the Palestinian territories.
weekend the United Nations security council wound up its
crisis meeting. The debate began late Thursday centring on
the Secretary-General's proposal for a robust multi-national
force. The Israeli representative, Ambassador Aaron Jacob,
told the Council that an international presence could serve
no useful role and that in addition it would need the
agreement of both parties: "Israel has made it clear that it
accepts third-party American Israel monitors to supervise
the implementation of Tenet and Mitchell… but it cannot put
its faith in a robust international presence, which could
not be effective in the face of a continuing strategy of
representative, Nasser Al-Kidwa, expressed his full support
for a multi-national force. The Council debate continued
Friday with the United States representative abstaining from
any reference to the multi-national force. He stressed
instead that it was not necessary to adopt any more
resolutions but rather to implement the current ones on
which there was agreement.
The Security Council
concluded the meeting expressing concern over the "dire"
humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilians amid
reports of destruction and an unknown number of deaths in
the Jenin refugee camp, the United Nations Security Council
has called for the lifting restrictions imposed on relief
organizations and stressed the urgent need for access to the
Palestinian civilian population. Meanwhile
Israeli tanks rumbled out of two West Bank cities Sunday
after a crushing three-week occupation but kept up sieges of
Yasser Arafat's headquarters and a Bethlehem church where
gunmen are holed up.
"We have finished this stage of
the operation called Defensive Shield," Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon told reporters in Jerusalem.
Amid continued international outcry in some quarters
over Israel's policy, the army said it had left Ramallah,
apart from the Palestinian president's compound, and pulled
out of Nablus.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
slammed Israeli pullbacks as a "big deception," saying
Israel still had security control of all Palestinian-ruled
parts of the West Bank. First
published on Spectator.co.nz…By Selwyn Manning.
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