US Boycotts UN Debate on Israeli Settlements

Officials 'Troubled' That Topic Is Even Up for Discussion

by Jason Ditz, March 18, 2013

The Obama Administration is annoyed that the UN Human Rights Council is planning to debate the issue of settlements in the occupied West Bank and their impact on Palestinians in the ever-shrinking non-settlement portion of the occupied territory so soon ahead of his visit to Israel.

The White House has repeatedly promised that the Palestinian issue will not be brought up during Obama’s visit to Israel, the first of his presidency, and the focus is expected to be purely on which upcoming wars, if any, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can talk President Obama into joining.

The US has announced that it will boycott the UN debate on the settlements, and also said it was “extremely troubling” that the council would even hold a hearing, saying it proved “bias” against Israel.

The debate will center on a January report which termed Israel’s decisions to expand settlements in the area as “creeping annexation.” Building settlements in occupied territory is illegal under international law.

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