Walla: Germany withdraws from a US statement supporting Israel at the United Nations

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On Friday, the Israeli Walla website quoted senior Israeli and German officials as saying that Germany had decided to withdraw its signature on an US condemnation memorandum against the United Nations Human Rights Council’s investigation committee in Geneva, which deals with the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Germany’s move comes in response to the Israeli government’s decision at the beginning of the week to build thousands of new housing units in West Bank settlements, and to transfer powers in this regard to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

The United States submitted a statement condemning the commission of inquiry during the United Nations Human Rights Council, and Germany withdrew its signature, noting that it had previously joined similar statements.

Last Tuesday, 27 countries, including the United States, Britain, Canada, Austria, Poland, Italy, Hungary and Albania, issued a statement expressing their concern about the open-ended mandate of the UN commission of inquiry.

“We believe that the nature of this commission of inquiry is further evidence of the longstanding and disproportionate interest in Israel in the Council, and it must stop,” the statement read.

According to the Walla website, German and Israeli officials said that Germany had conveyed an official message to Israel, through diplomatic channels, that it had decided to withdraw from supporting the US statement of condemnation, in response to the occupation government’s decision to increase settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli government recently announced the approval of building 4,500 settlement units in the West Bank, and, on Wednesday, it approved the construction of 1,000 units in Eli, in response to the operation.

The response came in agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ministers of Security and Finance Yoav Gallant and Bezalel Smotrich, on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Israel Hayom (Israel Today) newspaper published data indicating a significant increase in the pace of the Israeli government’s approval of construction in settlements in the occupied West Bank, breaking a record by issuing 13,000 building permits in just half a year.

The Israeli government is implementing its settlement plans relatively quietly, and that it has given settlement an additional push forward, following the shooting attack that targeted settlers near the“Eli” settlement between Nablus and Ramallah two days ago, which led to the death of four of them and the wounding of four others.

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