UN human rights chief blasts Israel, asks what Jerusalem ‘is trying to hide’

Israel’s mission to the UN fires back, says Michelle Bachelet has acted “as a mouthpiece for the Palestinian Authority” during her tenure.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Outgoing United Nations Human Rights Office High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet blasted the State of Israel in one of her final acts in that role, alleging that the Israeli government had conspired to prevent her staff from reaching the country and suggesting that Jerusalem has something to hide.

“In 2020, the 15 international staff of my office in Palestine – which has been operating in the country for 26 years – had no choice but to leave,” Bachelet said in a statement to the UN’s official news site.

“Israel’s treatment of our staff is part of a wider and worrying trend to block human rights access to the occupied Palestinian territory,” she charged.

“This raises the question of what exactly the Israeli authorities are trying to hide.”

Bachelet claimed that Israel has created bureaucratic obstacles that are preventing human rights activists from accessing the country.

“Subsequent requests for visas and visa renewals have gone unanswered for two years,” she said. “During this time, I have tried to find a solution to this situation, but Israel continues to refuse to engage.”

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Israel is in violation of its obligations as a UN member state, Bachelet said,calling on Jerusalem to “meet its international obligations in this regard.”

During her time as human rights commissioner, Bachelet, who was once the president of Chile, has acted as a “mouthpiece for the Palestinian Authority,” according to a statement from Israel’s mission to the UN.

“A cursory look at the UN Human Rights Office in Ramallah’s website or Facebook page reflects this uncomfortable truth,” the statement added.

“It is of little surprise that Michelle Bachelet is using her last hours in office to once again attack Israel and yet remain silent on the most serious human rights situations around the world.

“She has also spent years… refusing to name Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, and refusing to condemn violations of human rights by the Palestinians.”

In 202, Israel formally suspended ties with Bachelet due to a blacklist of 112 Israeli companies that operate in Judea and Samaria, which was released by her office.