Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank are unacceptable, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday.
In his statement, Davutoglu condemned Israel
for confiscating Palestinian-owned lands in the West Bank village of Walaja and claimed Israel's policies contradicted the international community's position.
The Turkish FM accused Israel of obstructing the peace process with its "negative position and damaging hopes of a two-state solution by means of the physical realities it creates in the region." He added that Turkey expects Israel to act in line with its international obligations and avoid activities that "damage peace."
Walaja is located both within the southern boundaries of the Jerusalem
municipality and in the West Bank. Its southern part is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. A third of the village's lands were annexed to Jerusalem, so a small number of its 2,500 residents carry Israeli identification cards. The construction of the West Bank security barrier in and around the village led to numerous clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces.
Following a lengthy legal battle, the High Court of Justice approved the route of the security fence northwest of Walaja.
On Thursday the United Nations' Human Rights Council on Thursday passed
a resolution ordering a first probe into how Israel's West Bank settlements may be infringing on Palestinians' rights.
Presenting the resolution, a Pakistani envoy criticized Israel for insisting on expanding settlements in the occupied territories, "in violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws."
"This resolution seeks to respond to the humanitarian and human rights challenges this illegal Israeli practice has created in the occupied territories," he said.
Beyond ordering a probe into the implications of settlements, the resolution also calls on Israel to "take and implement serious measures" such as confiscating arms to prevent acts of violence by Israeli settlers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
slammed the UN's decsion, calling the council "hypocritical."
"This is a hypocritical council with an automatic majority against Israel," Netanyahu said. "Until today, the council has made 91 decisions, 39 of which dealt with Israel, three with Iran," he said.
A source in Netanyahu's office said Israel would not cooperate with the investigation which he described as biased, adding that Israel did not want to give it legitimacy.
Professor Gabriela Shalev, formally Israel's UN ambassador, told Ynet Thursday that "The Human Rights Council is a biased, anti-Israeli body that has passed more resolutions against Israel than against any other UN member.
"When the council was formed in 2006 there was hope that it would change things, but those hopes soon faded, because it doesn’t address human rights issues and it doesn’t monitor what's going on in countries like the Congo, China and Iran, where human rights and the rights of women and children are constantly violated – but those countries escape censure," she said.
"On the other hand, since there are many Arab nations on the council, Palestine enjoys an automatic majority; and the result is that his body is motivated by political interests and not by the desire to protect human rights."
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