Israel’s refusal to issue or renew visas for UNHuman Rights staff in the occupied Palestinian territory will not preventthe Office from continuing to monitor and report on the human rightssituation on the ground, UN High Commissioner for Human RightsMichelle Bachelet said today.
As a Member State, Israel must cooperate in good faith with the UN andgrant its officials the privileges and immunities necessary for them toindependently exercise their functions.
“Israel’s failure to process visa applications that are necessary for mystaff’s access is inconsistent with these standards, and I call on theGovernment to meet its international obligations in this regard,” the UNHuman Rights chief said.
Bachelet said that barring the UN Human Rights Office’s internationalstaff occurred in a context where Israeli authorities are increasinglylimiting human rights “eyes and ears on the ground. This raises the question of what exactly the Israeli authorities are tryingto hide.”
“We will continue to deliver on our mandate. And we will continue todemand access to the occupied Palestinian territory for our staff, in linewith Israel’s obligations as a UN Member State.”