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UN Human Rights Council to vote on Israeli settlement boycott resolution

April 12, 2014 at 12:24 pm

The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva will vote on five anti-Israel resolutions on Thursday and Friday; one of which calls for the boycott and divestment of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted an Israeli official as saying; “The draft resolutions pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office who knows that with the Foreign Ministry’s workers strike, Israel has no one to follow-up on the subject. The premier’s office considers sending a special Israeli envoy to Geneva.”

The newspaper said the vice chairman of the National Security Council, Ze’ev Tzuk-Ram, was scheduled to travel to Geneva on Tuesday but his trip was cancelled when Netanyahu’s office understood that his trip will have no impact on the resolutions’ wording.

The Arab states and the Palestinian Authority submitted the draft resolutions entitled “Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the occupied Golan” which include new forms that were not included in previous Human Rights Council condemnations.

According to the paper the draft resolutions quote from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which calls to boycott Israel, impose sanctions on it and withdraw foreign investments from it. The paper warned that although the decision is non-binding, it would encourage boycotting Israeli and foreign companies operating in the settlements.

The UN Watch in Geneva published the draft resolution which said the Israeli settlements make Israel responsible for serious breaches of international laws.

The draft resolution calls on the council’s member states to stop Israel from breaching international law saying “any direct or indirect assistance by states, institutions or companies for the settlements hinders international efforts to end the occupation and achieve the Palestinians right to self-determination and independence.”

The draft resolution calls on the council’s member states to respect the UN principles in all matters relating to Israel and the Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem and to take appropriate steps to ensure that their organisations do work or support the settlements and respect human rights by stopping their activities in the settlements”.

The draft resolutions also call on the member states to clarify the legal risks and consequences that ensue “on violating the human rights principles by involving in the settlements’ construction or dealing with them in any way”.