UN Expert to Investigate Israel’s War on Human Rights Defenders
A United Nations expert said on Friday that Israel is attacking human rights organizations and trying to delegitimize their work and that he will launch an investigation into the problem.
Michael Lynk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, presented his first report to the UN General Assembly calling Israel to end the nearly 50 years of occupation, which he said “is entrenched, is dripping in human rights violations.”
“The fact that the Israeli government threatened to revoke the citizenship of the executive director of B’Tselem is a particularly worrying path for Israel to wind up taking,” Lynk said, referring to the rights groups’ appearance before the Security Council earlier this month.
He praised the recent intervention at the Security Council by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, which urged the UN to end the Israeli occupation in Israel and said he was especially troubled by the Israeli government’s reaction.
In a statement, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon called Lynk’s comments offensive and said it “shows the immense damage done by Israeli organizations that defame us in front of the international community.”
Most of the international community has labeled the Israeli occupation as illegal because the territories in which half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements, were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.