JERUSALEM: The Palestine Liberation Organization lauded yesterday UN condemnation of Israeli settlement building, but slammed the US position on human rights “violations” by the Jewish state.
“On behalf of the Palestinian people and leadership, I would like to express great appreciation and gratitude” to the UN’s Human Rights Council, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement. “We appreciate your support and value your courage to stand behind your convictions.”
The UNHRC presented a report to diplomats this month which said Israel must immediately begin withdrawing its settlers from the Palestinian territories.
The body also passed resolutions slamming settlement building and abuses against Palestinians, all of which the US voted against.
“The United States once again demonstrated a total disregard for Palestinian rights and the requirements of peace,” Ashrawi said.
It “voted against justice, and for impunity, in the face of the most egregious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law… it voted against peace.”
The PLO’s comments came several days after a visit by Barack Obama to Israel and the Palestinian territories, his first as US president.
Israel must act to “immediately and without preconditions cease the settlement activity and to initiate a process of withdrawal from the settlements,” French delegate Christine Chanet told the UNHRC on March 18, lamenting a “rampant annexation” of Palestinian territories.
The UNHRC report, published at the end of January, sparked angry reactions from Israel, which slammed it and the Human Rights Council that commissioned it as “one-sided and biased.”