Head of Israeli Human Rights NGO B'Tselem Invited to Appear Before UN Security Council

'Violations that occur in the occupied territories, outside of the official borders of the state, are certainly of international concern,' says B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad

A meeting of the UN Security Council during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, September 27, 2018
Jason DeCrow,AP

Hagai El-Ad, executive director of Israeli human rights NGO B'Tselem, is expected to appear before the UN Security Council on Thursday at a regular Middle East discussion led by UN Middle East Envoy Nickolay Mladenov.

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The council, headed by the Bulgarian ambassador, invited El-Ad to speak on behalf of Israeli civil society.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sharply criticized El-Ad on Saturday, saying that "B'Tselem has already proved that they are cooperating with Israel's enemies. This time, with a country that has nicknamed Israeli soldiers 'murderers.' It is not only a disgrace and an insult to the organization; it crosses red lines for other nations with anti-Israel agendas who are inviting them to bring 'evidence' against us."

El-Ad told Haaretz in response: "I will portray the objective reality of the situation in the West Bank and its significance. When I appeared before the Security Council two years ago, the Israeli ambassador was also busy slandering and making threats, but he couldn't contradict a single fact. We are on the eve of the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, an issue that greatly concerns the international community as well as the Security Council. It is important for us to return and say: human rights, and in particular violations that occur in the occupied territories, which are outside of the official borders of the state, are certainly of international concern."

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El-Ad's last appearance before the UN Security Council was an informal presentation in the wake of the anti-settlement UN Resolution 2334.  The resolution stressed the illegal nature of Israeli settlements under international law, condemned violence against civilians and reiterated the vision of a two-state solution.