United Nations

Israel threatens to pull out of UN flotilla probe

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2010

The Israeli government has warned that it could pull out of a United Nations probe into the clash on a Gaza-bound flotilla if IDF soldiers are called to testify. The panel is set to start investigations today.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had agreed that Israeli soldiers would not be questioned by the panel. Mr Moon has denied promising this.

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UNIFIL: Israel did not cross Lebanon border

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2010

United Nations peacekeepers have contradicted Lebanese claims that Israeli forces were operating within Lebanese territory before a border flare-up which led to the deaths of four people.

The fighting has raised international concerns that Israel’s relationship with Lebanon could deteriorate, less than four years after a ceasefire was negotiated to end the Second Lebanon War with Hizbollah.

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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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