Israeli rights group criticizes oppression of Palestinians

Israeli rights group criticizes oppression of Palestinians

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United Nations, Oct 19 (AP/UNB) — The head of Israel’s leading human rights group strongly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government during a contentious U.N. Security Council meeting on Thursday for what he called its “supremacy and oppression” of the Palestinians. Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon responded, accusing Hagai El-Ad, director of B’Tselem, of staging “a circus” in the council and then in Hebrew telling him: “Shame on you! You are a collaborator!”
That drew a rebuke from Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce who complained that council members could not understand Danon’s remarks in Hebrew, which is not one of the U.N.’s official languages. AP obtained a translation after the council meeting.
B’Tselem opposes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and has documented abuses committed by Israeli soldiers, sparking accusations of treason by Israeli hardliners. The rights group has also angered Israeli leaders because it accepts funding from foreign donors including the European Commission and because it airs its criticism in international venues like the United Nations.
Netanyahu told a recent meeting with Christian media outlets that he defined B’Tselem as “a disgrace.”
El-Ad was invited to address the U.N.’s most powerful body by Bolivia, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, and he used his speech to decry “the indignity, the outrage, the pain of the people denied human rights for more than 50 years.”

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