Daily Israel Report

Israel Summons Ambassadors Over UNHRC Commission

After severing ties with UNHRC, Israel reprimands Austria and Belgium ambassadors for their countries' voting for 'settlement mission.'
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/27/2012, 6:46 AM

Foreign Minister Lieberman
Foreign Minister Lieberman
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the ambassadors from Austria and Belgium and reprimanded them for their countries having voted in favor of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to establish a fact-finding mission to probe the “effects of settlements on Palestinian human rights.”

Europe was divided in last Thursday’s vote on the fact-finding mission. In addition to Austria and Belgium, other European countries which voted in favor of the resolution were Norway, Switzerland, and Russia.

Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Moldova abstained.

A Foreign Ministry official told Channel 10 News after the ambassadors were summoned, “During the conversation we expressed our deep disappointment and objection over their vote.”

The official added that the Foreign Ministry explained to the two ambassadors that their country’s position did not solve the problem but rather made it worse.

Earlier on Monday, a senior diplomatic source said that the Foreign Ministry management has decided to sever its ties with the UNHRC.

The source said that the decision stems from a series of unilateral moves that the "Palestinians" are trying to lead against Israel.

According to Monday's decision, Israel's UN Ambassador, Ron Prosor, will not appear before the Council and will not reply to requests by the UNHRC for materials and for the coordination of visits in Israel.

The head of the UNHRC, Laura Dupuy, later expressed her regret over the decision.

Dupuy said the decision was “most regrettable” and added, “I have no doubt that it is in the interest of Israel to cooperate with the Human Rights Council on this investigative mission, not least so that it can explain its own policies and actions to the independent commissioners once they are appointed.”