PRESS RELEASE

Chief of probe accused Israel of ‘total discrimination’

GENEVA, July 6 – As the UN Human Rights Council’s sixth inquiry into alleged Israeli violations began today, the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch expressed concerns over its lack of balance, noting the mandate’s failure to examine violations by the Palestinian side.

Established by a March resolution, the terms of the inquiry are solely to examine how Israeli residents of settlements and east Jerusalem violate the human rights of Palestinians.

“While there are genuine human rights victims on all sides, this inquiry’s mandate is imbalanced and lacks credibility,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“Its terms were framed in a 4-page resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab and Islamic groups, that omits any reference to Arab terrorism against Israeli civilians, including the hundreds of rockets fired recently from Gaza and Sinai into Israeli towns and villages.”

“The only victims it contemplates are Palestinians, the only perpetrator, Israel. In the guise of human rights, Syria and other oppressive regimes sponsored this U.N. inquiry to deflect attention from their own crimes, to scapegoat Israel and erode its international standing.”

“We call on all three commissioners — including Asma Jahangir, whose sister Hina Jilani served on the U.N.’s controversial Goldstone commission in 2009 — not to commit the same errors of the Goldstone Report, which Judge Goldstone famously acknowledged two years later.”

“We are concerned that the head of the inquiry, Christine Chanet, recently accused Israel of ‘total discrimination’ and said how ‘it is very difficult to have a real dialogue (with Israel)’. That is not the impartial attitude and approach that is required under international law for fact-finders, and we call on Ms. Chanet to clarify this position.”

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