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Israel suspends relations with UN Human Rights Council

Israel suspends relations with UN Human Rights Council

Israel has decided to suspend its relations with the United Nations Human Rights Council due to the council’s biased position towards Israel, Yigal Palmor, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, has said as cited by a mass media. The Council President has called the move unprecedented; the body has decided to postpone its regular human rights review.

“There have been more resolutions condemning Israel than the rest of the world put together,” an Israeli government official explained Israel’s decision on Tuesday. “It’s not a fair game – it’s not even a game.”

Following its decision Israel has not sent its delegation to the UN human rights forum just started in Geneva. At the gathering UN member states typically have their human rights records evaluated every four year.

The Council's President has called on the body to draft a response to Israel's move.

Meanwhile, according to a delegate from Egypt cited by a news agency, a “soft” response would pave the way for “more cases of non-cooperation.”

Human rights organizations have condemned Israel’s decision, while Israeli activist groups have claimed Israel has the right “to express criticism of the work of the Council and its recommendations.”

Israel’s activities in the disputed areas of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinians intend to have their own state, has been closely observed ever since 2007.

The territory of West Bank and East Jerusalem is home to around 500,000 Israelis and 2.4 million Palestinians.

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Netanyahu orders remittance of $400 mln to PNA

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the remittance of 400 million dollars to the Palestinian National Administration.

According to sources in the Prime Minister’s Office, this will be a one-off payment of proceeds from customs duties and tax revenues.

After the UN General Assembly upgraded Palestine’s status in November last year, Israel said it would not be transferring funds to Palestinians and would boost settlement construction.

Therefore, Netanyahu’s latest move means his Cabinet’s stance has been softened ahead of the resuming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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