New York, MINA – The UN special coordinator for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Nickolay Mladenov, has urged Israel to allow UN international staff to return to work in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Mladenov told the UN Security Council Israel has not responded to requests for visa extensions for international staff in recent months. This was quoted by Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
“It is not clear how long Tel Aviv will do so, but the Agency will continue to fulfill its mandate, but with most of the staff working outside the occupied territories,” Mladenov said.
He said that after the release of a report to the Human Rights Council about business activities in Israeli settlements in February 2020, Israel had frozen its relationship with OHCHR.
“I am very concerned that the important work mandated by the Human Rights Council is being impeded in this way. I urge Israel to facilitate the return of international staff members to the OPT, ”he added, using an acronym referring to Occupation of Palestine.
Meanwhile Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in February 2020 published a list of more than 100 companies operating in the occupied West Bank.
The list was compiled by UN human rights staff in Geneva and mostly lists Israeli companies, although some are headquartered in the US, France, Britain, the Netherlands, and Thailand.
Among those international companies are travel company TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and Bookings, as well as technology maker Motorola, consumer food maker General Mills and infrastructure companies such as JC Bamford Excavators and Egis Rail. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)