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Israel blocks UN human rights rapporteur's visit

June 16, 2015 at 10:40 am

Israel has blocked a scheduled visit by the UN human rights rapporteur to the Palestinian territories for the second year in a row, a foreign ministry official revealed yesterday.

“We didn’t allow this visit,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said.

The visit by the UN special rapporteur on human rights, Makarim Wibisono, was due to take place last week.

“Israel cooperates with all the international commissions and all [UN] rapporteurs, except when the mandate handed to them is anti-Israeli and Israel has no chance to make itself heard.”

The spokesman added that Israel had previously prevented Wibisono from investigating Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2014.

Wibisono was forced to prepare his report based on interviews he conducted with Palestinian officials in Jordan.

Last week’s visit by the UN rapporteur was aimed at completing an annual assessment of the situation in the territories occupied by Israel which includes Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The UN Human Rights Council, to which Wibisono reports, has been conducting an investigation into the actions of both Israel and Palestinian groups during last year’s war on the Gaza Strip.

Its report is expected to be published in the coming days, and the council is scheduled to debate it on 29 June.

Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, said yesterday in Geneva that the committee in charge of the investigation will publish its report during the UNHRC session which ends on 3 July.

He expressed hope that the report will pave the way for the vindication of justice for all civilian casualties in the fighting last year and pave the way for all those found responsible for violating international humanitarian law to be punished.

Hussein slammed Israel for continuing its settlement activity as well as settler violence in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In March, Israel boycotted a UN session dedicated to discussing its war on Gaza in the summer of 2014.