UN Issues 240 Recommendations for Israel, Including Halting Settlement Expansion

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Construction in the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, March 16, 2017.
Construction in the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, March 16, 2017.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

A United Nations' review of human rights topics in Israel has issued 240 recommendations, including that it end settlement expansion.

Israel said it would need time to review 232 recommendations made by individual countries in the Human Rights Council working group in Geneva. It "noted" eight recommendations submitted by the "State of Palestine," saying the entity doesn't "satisfy the criteria for statehood under international law."

Earlier on Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. had taken Jerusalem off the negotiating table for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He made the annoucement ahead of talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

From Ramallah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fired back at Trump, telling him that if Jerusalem is off the negotiating table then the U.S. no longer has a seat at that table, officials for the Palestinian leader said.

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East earlier on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley criticized Abbas, saying that he "lacked the courage and the will to seek peace."

She added that the United States would not "chase after leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace."

As part of the review, Britain urged "immediate action to cease the policy of demolitions of Palestinian properties and buildings" and for Israel "to reverse policy on settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories."

Germany said Israel should end "practices of collective punishment such as the demolition of homes, revocation of residency permits in East Jerusalem, and the closure of entire areas."

The U.S. made no recommendations in Thursday's report.

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