Israel says it will not cooperate with UN probe into settlements
The Israeli government said Sunday it will not cooperate with a UN Human Rights Council fact-finding mission to probe the implications of Israeli settlements on Palestinian human rights and will prevent its members from entering its territory, dpa reported.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel saw "no point" in cooperating with a politically-motivated mission "whose conclusions are known in advance."
He warned Israel would also reconsider its membership in the council, charging the body was being used as a "whipping tool against us."
He also threatened retaliatory measures against the Palestinians for initiating the move, complaining they could not continue to "harm" Israel diplomatically while simultaneously expecting Israeli to cooperate with them.
The Israeli government had "many means" at its disposal, but would act carefully and "not shoot from the hip," he said.
Ayalon did not say whether Israel would again freeze the transfer of customs it levies on behalf of the Palestinians on goods that reach the West Bank and Gaza via its ports and border crossings.
However, a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity to Israel Radio, said Israel was "considering" this.
The Human Rights Council agreed to dispatch the fact-finding mission on Thursday.