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Israeli fury at UN probe into Jewish settlements

Israeli fury at UN probe into Jewish settlements
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There is anger in Israel at moves within the UN to investigate the effect of Jewish settlements on Palestinian human rights.

Israel is considering severing ties with the UN Human Rights Council and withdrawing its ambassador after the organisation voted to establish a fact-finding mission in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel and the residents disagree.

“The fact that Israel is repeatedly made into an scapegoat is not only infuriating, it is embarrassing to the rest of the world because once again they allow the Jews to be scapegoats for the entire world,” said Semin Navon, a Jewish settler living in the West Bank.

The Council meeting in Geneva called on Israel to co-operate fully with the mission and not obstruct the process.

“We will do all that is in our power to force the Israeli government to stop settlement building, including in Jerusalem, and to accept the 1967 borders, in an attempt to preserve the option of a two state solution in the face of an Israeli government that is tactically destroying this option,” said Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Palestinians face restrictions in most Jewish settlement areas.

A total of 36 of the Council’s 47 members voted for the mission. Ten countries abstained, including several in Europe. Only the US voted against, calling the resolution biased against Israel.