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Settlement report shows UN's 'anti-Israel bias' — Pompeo

By AFP - Feb 13,2020 - Last updated at Feb 13,2020

A photo taken on Tuesday shows the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev (left), built in a suburb of the mostly Arab East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp (right) behind Israel's controversial separation wall (AFP photo)

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday denounced the UN release of a list of companies involved with Israeli settlements, saying it proved the world body was biased against Israel.

"Its publication only confirms the unrelenting anti-Israel bias so prevalent at the United Nations," Pompeo said in a statement, calling himself "outraged".

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet on Wednesday released a list of 112 companies with activities in Israeli settlements, including major US firms Airbnb, Expedia and TripAdvisor.

The report was ordered in 2016 by the UN Human Rights Council, from which President Donald Trump's administration withdrew the United States in protest at its alleged targeting of ally Israel.

"The United States has not provided, and will never provide, any information to the Office of the High Commissioner to support compilation of these lists and expresses support for US companies referenced," Pompeo said.

"We call upon all UN member states to join us in rejecting this effort, which facilitates the discriminatory boycott, divestment and sanction [BDS] campaign and delegitimises Israel," he said.

The BDS campaign, which seeks international boycotts to pressure Israel to improve its treatment of Palestinians, welcomed the publication of the list, which the Palestinian leadership hailed as a victory for international law.

Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law, according to the United Nations and most countries.

Pompeo said last year that the United States no longer agreed that the settlements were illegal and a Middle East plan released last month by Trump would open the way for Israel to annex much of the West Bank.

 

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