United Nations

UN Goldstone probe head is 'biased'

By Toby Axelrod, July 29, 2010

German judge Christian Tomuschat is facing increased pressure to step down as head of the UN panel charged with reviewing the implementation of the Goldstone report's demands.

Critics say Mr Tomuschat has already likened Israel's self-defence actions to "state terrorism", and thus cannot provide an unbiased assessment of whether Israel and Hamas have properly investigated and then tried those alleged to have committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead.

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Assault on Gaza children's camp

By Jennifer Lipman, June 28, 2010

Armed assailants have vandalised a United Nations children’s summer camp in central Gaza.

The incident, in which toys were burnt and a guard tied up, follows a similar attack by Palestinian militants on another UN camp in May. There are about 12 UN camps in Gaza, catering for 250,000 children.

In the latest assault more than 20 masked men attempted to set fire to tents and used knives to slash a plastic paddling pool and inflatable slide.

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Israel's UK ambassador tipped for UN post

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 24, 2010

Israel's ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, is being considered for the post of temporary ambassador to the United Nations.

The UN post is considered one of the key diplomatic jobs. Often the position goes to a political appointee rather than a career diplomat. The current ambassador, Prof Gavriella Shalev, was appointed by former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The government is determined to replace her by the time her two-year term ends in August.

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UN: East Jerusalem homes demolition 'illegal'

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called the plan to demolish 22 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem “illegal”.

The homes, in the Silwan neighbourhood of the city, will be demolished to build an archaeological tourism park.
US President Barack Obama and Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak have also criticised the approval, granted by Jerusalem City Council.

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Palestinian territories beat Egypt in well-being

By Jennifer Lipman, June 14, 2010

The United Nations has published a report showing that the Palestinian territories have higher standards of development and well-being than the surrounding countries of Egypt, Yemen and Pakistan.

The Palestinian territories appear at number 110 out of 182 countries on the list. Compiled by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the annual report ranks countries on education, life expectancy and living standard.

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Welcome for new UN Iran sanctions

By Robyn Rosen, June 10, 2010

American Jewish organisations and the Israeli Foreign Ministry have welcomed Wednesday's decision by the United Nations Security Council to impose new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.

Betty Ehrenberg of the World Jewish Congress said: "The WJC applauds the passage of this latest round of UN sanctions. It demonstrates that the international community is less and less willing to tolerate a rogue state that has an abysmal human rights record and continues to threaten its neighbours and the Western world.

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United States vote against UNHRC Gaza motion

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

The United States has voted against a resolution by a UN body condemning Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Italy and the Netherlands also voted against the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) document, while the UK abstained.

The Palestinian-sponsored resolution was passed by a majority of 32. It calls for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and for an independent probe into the incident.

The UNHRC previously instigated the controversial Goldstone Report into the 2009 Gaza war.

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Dershowitz turns down Israeli ambassador role at the UN

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 27, 2010

Alan Dershowitz has declined a request from Binyamin Netanyahu for the law professor to become Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.

Mr Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have been searching for an "international media star" to replace the lacklustre Gabriela Shalev, the current ambassador to the UN.

"Netanyahu, who was himself an ambassador to the UN, sees that job as Israel's premier spokesperson abroad," said a senior official at the Foreign Ministry. "That's why he is not interested in appointing a diplomat, but a media performer."

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Goldstone to attend barmitzvah

By Moira Schneider, April 29, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone will be attending his grandson's barmitzvah after all.

The Washington-based judge, who authored a United Nations report accusing Israel of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, agreed earlier this month to miss the ceremony following negotiations with the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the Johannesburg synagogue at which the barmitzvah is due to take place. The SAZF had reportedly threatened to protest outside the shul should Judge Goldstone attend.

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Quartet: Settlement freeze and Palestinian state in 'two years'

By Jessica Elgot, March 19, 2010

The Middle East Quartet peace mediators have called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity and say their aim is to create a Palestinian state within two years.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who led the meeting with representatives from the US, the European Union and Russia, was the latest to condemn Israel’s plan to build 1,600 homes in Ramat Shlomo, east Jerusalem.

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