UN envoy of Palestine quits over Israeli denial of access

UN rapporteur of Palestine resigns accusing Israel for breaking its promise of granting him access to West Bank and Gaza

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Makarim Wibisono addresses the Security Council on Aug. 27, 1999

The United Nations special rapporteur for human rights abuses in Palestinian territories Makarim Wibisono announced his resignation on Monday, saying that Israel has not kept its promise to grant him access to the West Bank and Gaza.

Wibisono stated that he had sent verbal and written applications for access to the Palestinian territories for more than 18 months, but none of them had been answered.  

“With no reply from Israel to my latest request, in October 2015, to have access by the end of 2015, it is with deep regret that I accept the premise upon which I took up the mandate, which is to have direct access to the victims in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, will not be fulfilled,” Wibisono, a former Indonesian diplomat who took up the UN post in June 2014.

“Unfortunately, my efforts to help improve the lives of Palestinian victims of violations under the Israeli occupation have been frustrated every step of the way.”

Israel has long rejected the post of the independent investigator for the territories, accusing the 47-member state forum of bias against the Jewish state, a position backed by its main ally the United States.

In the 1967 Middle East war, Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and later annexed the latter, declaring it part of its eternal, indivisible capital, a move which has never been recognised internationally.

Palestinians seek a state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as their capital.

Previously in March 2015, Wibisono said that Israel should investigate the killing of more than 1,500 Palestinian civilians, one third of them children, during the 2014 Gaza war, and make the findings public in his first report to the council.

TRTWorld and agencies