Palestinians welcome UN call for settlement database

AFP , Friday 25 Mar 2016

Israeli settlements
File Photo: Homes in the occupied West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem November 13, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

The Palestinian government has hailed the decision by the United Nations to establish a database of companies working in Israeli settlements, a ruling that Israel called an "absurdity."

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday adopted four motions on the Palestinian territories, including one calling for the establishment of a list of companies operating from settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel has long accused the body of unfairly singling it out.

Ibrahim Khreisheh, Palestinian envoy to the UNHRC, called the vote a "message of hope for our people."

"Israel continues to systematically violate the inalienable rights of the Palestinians while enjoying impunity from the international community," he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelled UNHRC an "anti-Israel circus" which "attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea."

UNHRC has also confirmed Canadian Stanley Michael Lynk as its new investigator on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories after his predecessor resigned, citing Israel's continued refusal to grant him access.

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, in a move considered illegal under international law. Around 400,000 Israeli settlers now live alongside around 2.5 million Palestinians there.

Since the beginning of 2016, over 450 Palestinian homes and other structures in the West Bank have been destroyed by Israeli forces.

Short link: