Friday, March 23, 2012

US defends vote against Palestinian rights


The United States has defended its vote against a recent UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution ordering a first probe into the impact of illegal Israeli settlements on the rights of Palestinians.

US State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said during a briefing in Washington, DC on Friday that the country had opposed the resolution because it “further politicizes the situation,” according to a transcript of her comments posted on news website,

The 47-member council passed the resolution on Thursday, with 36 votes in favor, singular disapproval on the part of Washington, and 10 abstentions.

“We strongly opposed the creation of this fact-finding mission to Israel, a mission…which further politicizes the situation and distracts attention from what really needs to happen, which is for these parties to get back to the table,” Nuland said.

About 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlement units built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the number of the settlers is increasing.

In September 2010, Israel resumed settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories after a 10-month partial freeze, prompting the Palestinian Authority to break off direct talks with Tel Aviv.

On February 22, Israeli officials announced a decision to authorize the building of 500 new illegal settler units in the West Bank settlement of Shilo. The officials also said more than 200 settler homes built ‘without a permit’ by the Tel Aviv regime in the Palestinian territory would be “legalized.”

The United Nations says the Israeli settlement activities are illegal and “will not be recognized by the international community.”


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