‘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
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.
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.”
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.