UNHRC urges countries to avoid ties with 'settlements'

UNHRC adopts four anti-Israel resolutions, including motion condemning Israel for "settlement construction".

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

UN Human Rights Council
UN Human Rights Council

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday adopted four resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) conflict, including a motion condemning Israel for its construction in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Haaretz reports.

The last motion calls on states and firms to avoid both direct and indirect ties with the “settlements”, according to the report. The four resolutions are only declarative in nature.

36 member states voted in favor of the resolution criticizing Israeli construction, including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, China, India, Japan, South Africa, Nigeria and Brazil.

Nine states abstained: United Kingdom, Latvia, Croatia, Albania, Georgia, Hungry, Panama, Paraguay and Ruanda. Only two countries – the United States and Togo – opposed the resolution.

Israel, along with the United States, had in recent days tried to persuade other countries to vote against these resolutions, specifically the one condemning “settlements”.

A senior Foreign Ministry official admitted that Israel failed to thwart the resolution, but said it was successful in softening significant parts of it, as well as convincing almost half of the European Union member states to abstain.

“Considering the circumstances, this is an achievement,” he said, according to Haaretz.

While Britain abstained from the resolution rather than vote against it, it did issue a harshly worded statement putting the UNHRC “on notice” over its anti-Israel bias.

The resolution critical of the “settlements” calls on UN member states to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between “Israel proper and the settlements”. The motion also calls to refrain from providing Israel with any assistance that could be connected to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as to avoid trade with them.

The Israeli ambassador to the UN institutions in Geneva, Aviva Raz Shechter, criticized all the resolutions at Friday’s session as one-sided and called out the Council for its "absurdity" and "cynicism."

"Again and again we ask: where is the sense of priority of the HRC? Where is its moral compass?" she said, adding that Israel rejects all the resolutions, and pointed out that the Council deepens the Israeli-PA conflict instead of seeking its resolution.

"Absurdity reaches yet again new heights in the Golan Resolution. The Syrian regime is killing its own people and for the last six years the country is torn apart by a bloody civil war. This Council still votes on this ridiculous resolution," said Raz Shechter, according to Haaretz.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)