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Posts tagged ‘United Nations’

Making money from Israel’s settlements: UN report deals a blow to the occupation business

Last week, the United Nations human rights office published an update on its work to produce a database of businesses involved in Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, as mandated by a UN Human Rights Council resolution adopted in March 2016.

The report revealed that 206 companies, mostly Israeli or American, had been identified as engaged in activities that are either explicitly linked to the settlements or form part of processes that “enable and support the establishment, expansion and maintenance of [the settlements]”. Read more

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Why Trump is wrong to cut funding to the UN agency which looks after Palestinian refugees

As with the decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, US President Donald Trump surely had his electoral base in mind when deciding to slash funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which looks after Palestinian refugees.

Trump’s decision, however, can not be divorced from a long-standing Israeli animus towards the agency, whose current difficulties have been broadly welcomed by Israeli politicians – including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli officials and pro-Israel groups make two main arguments in their attacks on UNRWA: Palestinian refugees are “fake” and the UN agency “perpetuates” the conflict. Read more

Attack on UN agency exposes Israeli charge of Palestinian ‘incitement’

Last month saw yet another attack on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the body supporting Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and wider region.

“New UNRWA textbooks for Palestinians demonize Israel and Jews” ran the headline in The Jerusalem Post on 28 September, in a piece on a new “study” funded, carried out and published by the Los Angeles-headquartered Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the anti-Islam, Daniel Pipes-led Middle East Forum, and the Jerusalem-based Centre for Near East Policy Research (CNEPR).

There was one problem, however: almost 90 percent of the books cited are not being used in UNRWA schools. Read more

As apartheid deepens Israel targets the UN settlements database

The Israeli government and its allies are mobilising to try and thwart a United Nations list of companies complicit in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

These efforts are taking place in parallel to significant initiatives by figures within and outside of the Israeli government to normalise the presence of the settlements, moves which could contribute towards a future, formal annexation of sections of the West Bank.

On 24 March 2016 the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution by 32 votes to 0 (with 15 abstentions) that called for the establishment of “a database of all business enterprises involved” in settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), to be updated annually. Read more

Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims

Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, made headlines in June when she denounced what she claimed was a pattern of “anti-Israel” behaviour at the UN.

“I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time,” she said. “We are not going to let that happen any more. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations.”

While Haley’s words were music to Israeli leaders’ ears and echoed long-standing talking points of pro-Israel advocacy groups, analysts say there is little substance to her allegations that, in the words of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israel has been “the UN’s punching bag”. Read more

UN report: Israel has established an ‘apartheid regime’

Update (17/3//17): since this article was first published, ESCWA has been forced to remove the report from its website. It can be viewed/downloaded here: UN ESCWA Israel Apartheid Report

A new United Nations report accuses Israel of having established “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”.

The publication comes amid renewed debate about whether, through its settlement policy and rejection of Palestinian self-determination, the Israeli government is creating – or even has already created – a de facto “one-state”, which critics warn would constitute a form of apartheid. Read more

Israel’s anti-UN steps could lead to ‘isolation’

Last Friday, the Israeli government announced that it had suspended $6m in funding to the United Nations (UN), a move described as “an act of protest” against the recent Security Council resolution condemning illegal settlements.

But is this just the opening salvo in what could be an unprecedented offensive?

“Judging by how things are being handled in Israel at the moment, anything or any idea is possible, ” said Israeli political journalist and blogger Tal Schneider. “Seeing the government’s responses to Resolution 2334, I thought, ‘Are we going to leave the UN?’,” she told Al Jazeera. Read more

UN report: Palestinian development impossible without ending Israeli occupation

As Israel and its advocates promote a depoliticised framework of economic improvements for Palestinians under military occupation, a new United Nations (UN) document is required reading.

Late last month, the UN Country Team in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) published an extensive, 180-page report on “the state of development in Palestine as the Israeli occupation of its territory enters its 50th year.” Read more

Why is Israel tightening the Gaza blockade?

Let us begin with the facts: Israeli authorities have, over the course of the last year, tightened the long-standing blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Even before these more recent restrictions, the Israeli blockade – an illegal policy of collective punishment in the words of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – was continuing to severely harm the lives of Gaza’s two million residents, furthering the enclave’s de-development. Read more

Increased Israeli attacks on civilians in Gaza endanger two-year-old ceasefire

Israeli forces markedly increased their attacks on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip during the second quarter of 2016, United Nations (UN) data has revealed, with concerns that such violence endangers the viability of the ceasefire that ended ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in 2014.

During the period April-June, there were an average of more than 90 shooting incidents per month by Israeli forces in Gaza’s so-called access restricted areas (ARA) – some 60 on land, and 30 at sea. This is more than double the equivalent average figures for the last six months of 2015. Read more