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Israel to cut off contacts with UN Human Rights Council

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The foreign ministry decided Monday to cut off all contacts with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), a senior diplomatic official said.

The move comes following the decision by the council last Thursday to send a fact-finding mission to the West Bank to probe the impact of the settlements on Palestinian human rights.

From now on, the officials said, Israel’s ambassador to the UN organizations in Geneva will not appear before the council, answer any phone calls from the council, or cooperate with them in any way. The ambassador is not going to be withdrawn from Geneva, however, because there are a lot of other organizations that Israel does fully cooperate with and will continue to do so.

The official said that Israel will make efforts to get other countries on the council to follow suit, even though he acknowledged that this will be difficult.

No decision, however, has yet been made on what sanctions to take against the Palestinian Authority, which initiated this action at the UN body. Amid speculation that Israel may once again cut off monthly tax revenues that it transfers to the PA, as it did following UNESCO’s decision to accept the Palestinians into the organization in November, the source said that there are other measures that can be taken. He did not elaborate.

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