Israel says that U.N. ambassadors are welcome but not as part of Palestinian propaganda.
By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News
In light of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision in January not to renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations attempted to initiate a visit by the Security Council to the Palestinian Authority.
The delegation appealed to the Council members to advance the initiative, but Israel stepped in and was successful in stopping it.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, expressed Israel’s opposition to the Palestinian initiative while meeting with Equatorial Guinea’s ambassador to the U.N., Anatolio Ndong Mba, who is currently president of the U.N. Security Council. Danon says that he told the council president that Israel would be pleased to host individual visits by U.N. ambassadors, but not as part of a Palestinian initiative aimed at making “false propaganda” against the State of Israel.
“The Palestinian initiative is part of an ongoing effort to present a false narrative to the international community,” said Danon. “Israel has hosted dozens of U.N. ambassadors from around the world in recent years, exposing them to the historical truth the Palestinians refuse to accept, and instead choose to engage in terrorism and incitement,” he added.
The Israeli ambassador said that “as a 19-year-old Israeli girl was being brutally attacked and murdered, the Security Council must act against the PA’s incitement campaign and policy of paying salaries to terrorists.” Danon was referring to last week’s brutal murder of Ori Ansbacher in the Jerusalem area. Arafat Irfayia, 29, of Hebron has been charged with carrying out the terrorist attack.
Earlier this month, Israel hosted a delegation of dozens of U.N. ambassadors from around the world for a five-day visit. They met with Netanyahu and were given a tour of the attack tunnels which Israel neutralized along the Lebanese border, among other stops on their visit.
TIPH was comprised of 64 international civilian observers from Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. In a statement expelling the force, Netanyahu said: “We will not allow the presence of an international force that operates against us.”
In recent months, TIPH was at the center of controversy after two incidents involving the group’s members, one in which police said that they had video documentation of a TIPH worker puncturing the tires of a vehicle belonging to an Israeli resident of Hebron. The other concerned a Swiss observer who was deported from Israel after reportedly slapping an Israeli boy. Following those occurences, Netanyahu summoned the mission’s chief for a meeting.