Saturday, October 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Israel refuses to help in UN probe

GENEVA, Oct 20 (AP) — Israel said today that it refuses to cooperate with a United Nations inquiry into alleged human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement rejecting a resolution passed yesterday by the UN Human Rights Commission condemning Israel for “widespread, systematic and gross violation of human rights.”

The resolution, which described some of Israel’s actions as “war crimes,” was passed by 19 votes to 16, even though the USA and European nations voted against.

“The resolution, accepted by a slight majority of Arab countries and their supporters, is hostile, unbalanced and unnecessary,” the ministry statement said.

The commission’s vote mandates Ms Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and seven other human rights experts to travel to the area urgently to take stock of rights violations “by the Israeli occupying power.”

“Israel will not cooperate in the implementation of the operative part of this resolution,” the ministry statement said.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters): The European Union tried to soften a UN General Assembly draft resolution condemning Israel for excessive use of force against Palestinians ahead of today’s scheduled debate.

The resolution, which the USA opposes, is expected to be adopted at the end of a special emergency session of the 189-member assembly that began on Wednesday and resumes late today with a briefing by Secretary-General Kofi Annan followed by some 40 speeches.

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