United Nations

B'Tselem call for Gaza white phosphorus probe

By Jessica Elgot, February 1, 2010

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has demanded an investigation into the alleged use of white phosphorous at a UN compound in Gaza, which the IDF denies occurred.

A spokesperson for B’Tselem said: “Israel not only covered up the details of the incident but also refrained from stating, in the report, why measures had been taken against those responsible for this particular event, although many lives were lost in dozes of similar incidents throughout the operation.

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UK, US critical of new home building in Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2009

The British and US governments and the United Nations have denounced plans approved by Israel to build 900 homes in Gilo, a neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

The building has been approved by the Israeli Interior Ministry has approved the expansion of the neighbourhood in south west Jerusalem.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The Foreign Secretary has been very clear that a credible deal involves Jerusalem as a shared capital. Expanding settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem makes that deal much harder. So this decision is wrong and we oppose it."

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EU: A Palestinian state is ‘premature’

By Jessica Elgot, November 17, 2009

The European Union has said that Palestine is not ready to be recognised as a full state by the UN.

The current holder of the EU presidency, Carl Bildt of Sweden, said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that conditions were not yet right for Palestinian statehood.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said they had decided to seek recognition of the Palestinian state from the UN because of the failure of recent peace talks.

The proposal is an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and with June 1967 borders.

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British Jews' anger deepens over Goldstone vote

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009

British Jews have attacked the government and Foreign Secretary David Miliband for failing to take action against the Goldstone Report, claiming they have “lost credibility”.

In an unprecedented move, the Board of Deputies, the Zionist Federation and the Jewish Leadership Council have voiced their anger at the decision of the British government to abstain from the vote at the UN General Assembly.

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Miliband rejects pleas over Goldstone UN vote

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has rejected demands from the Jewish community that Britain vote ‘no’ at the UN General Assembly debate on the Goldstone Report.

In a joint statement, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies expressed their dismay over the lack of action by the British government regarding the report and demanded nothing less than a ‘no’ vote by Britain at the UN, calling the report “a sustained political attack upon Israel”.

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UN General Assembly adopts Goldstone Report

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009

The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favour of endorsing the Goldstone Report.

In total, 114 states voted to adopt the report and 18 objected. Britain was one of the 44 states which abstained.

The Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies had previously written to the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, stating that anything less than a “no” vote from Britain would be unacceptable.

Israel and the US voted against the decision, as did Germany, Holland, Canada and Australia. Most of the other EU states, including France, abstained.

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Analysis: On Goldstone, UN plays semantics

By Martin Bright, November 5, 2009

So in the end it all hinged on semantics. As the 192-nation UN General Assembly met on Wednesday to debate the Goldstone Report on the Gaza war, the central issue for the UK government was whether the resolution under discussion was to be “welcomed”, “endorsed” or “noted”.

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Jewish community attacks government on Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, November 5, 2009

The UK Jewish community has explicitly criticised Britain’s position on the Goldstone Report, in an unprecedented move.

In a joint statement issued by the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies, British Jews expressed their dismay over the lack of action by the British government regarding the report, which is being debated at the UN General Assembly today.

Their statement demanded nothing less than a ‘No’ vote by Britain at the UN, calling the report “a sustained political attack upon Israel”.

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US ambassador shuns UN debate on Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, November 5, 2009

The US ambassador to the UN has shunned the debate over the Goldstone Report at the meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Ambassador Susan Rice did not attend any discussion of the report, and her deputy Alejandro Wolff listened only to the speeches from Swedish ambassador, Anders Lidén, who was representing the European Union, and that of the Israeli ambassador Gabriela Shalev.

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UN General Assembly begins debate on Goldstone Report

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

The United Nations General Assembly has begun debating the Goldstone Report in New York.

Arab delegates presented a resolution calling on UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to act on Goldstone’s recommendations, which included referring Israel and Hamas to the International Court of Justice in the Hague if no action had been taken within six months.

More than 40 people are due to speak during the debate, which is expected to run until Thursday.

The UN General Assembly is likely to defer judgement on the report to the UN Security Council

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