by Ariel Kahana
Security Council is hypocritical for condemning evacuation of illegal Bedouin village while supporting eviction of Jewish settlements, says Israeli envoy to U.N. Danny Danon
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon on Monday rebuked the U.N. Security Council for meddling in Israel's internal affairs and accused it of hypocrisy for opposing the eviction of an illegally built Bedouin village in the West Bank while supporting the eviction of Jewish settlements.
The rebuke was included in a letter addressed to Security Council members ahead of their weekly session on the Middle East.
In a first, Thursday's session will feature Hagai El-Ad, the director of controversial left-wing human rights organization B'Tselem, who has been invited to address the U.N.'s top body.
An official with the Israeli mission to the U.N. said the meeting was likely to focus on the pending eviction of Khan al-Ahmar, an illegal encampment 6 miles east of Jerusalem with about 180 Bedouin residents.
Israel has offered to resettle the residents in a village 7 miles away, but the United Nations, European Union and others have denounced the plan, saying that razing the village may even amount to a war crime.
In his letter, Danon stressed that the issue of Khan al-Ahmar's eviction had been thoroughly examined by the Israeli judiciary and the High Court of Justice had ruled that it could go ahead.
"The State of Israel did not ignore the complexities of the situation or the residents' hardship and has offered them alternative housing on legal land, with proper infrastructure that can provide them with worthy living conditions, the likes of which do not exist in Khan al-Ahmar," Danon wrote.
"Despite this, and with the support of the European Union and the Palestinian Authority, the residents refuse to move.
"The intervention of these entities has only exacerbated the situation. We see their actions as an attempt to politicize a legal issued on which the highest Israeli court ruled, and as a blatant interference in Israel's internal affairs."
Danon also said the Security Council had double standards on the eviction of Palestinians versus the eviction of Jews, saying that "Israel's High Court has ruled, many times, that illegally built Jewish settlements must also be evicted," without any Security Council condemnation.
Last week, Danon denounced the Security Council for inviting El-Ad to address it, calling the move "shameful."
He said it was not just a "disgrace for the organization, but also the crossing of red lines by foreign countries with an anti-Israel agenda, which finance and invite him to provide 'evidence' against us."
Danon said the Israeli mission to the U.N. would "refute and expose not only the lies and incitement propagated by the Palestinians but also those spread by B'Tselem and Hagai El-Ad. We will continue to defend the State of Israel and the truth."
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