UN Human Rights Chief Not Received ‘Outright No’ From Israel
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson so far has not received "an outright no" to her request to visit Israel as part of a planned trip to the region, her spokesman said on Tuesday.
Jose-Luis Diaz said Robinson had had "telephone contacts" with the Israeli authorities since Friday telling them of her hope to visit Israel when she goes to the Middle East.
Robinson has been asked by a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to visit the region after the 53-member forum decided last Thursday to set up an inquiry into alleged human rights abuses during recent Israeli-Palestinian clashes.
The High Commissioner "hasn't had an outright no", Diaz said.
Israel has already said it would not cooperate with the proposed commission of inquiry into alleged human rights abuses during clashes across the West Bank and Gaza Strip which have claimed more than 100 lives.
The UN Human Rights Commission's resolution has to be endorsed by the Economic and Social Council in New York, the UN's main body for coordinating its economic and social work, expected to meet in mid-November.
On Monday, Robinson said in a written statement it was her intention to visit the occupied territories as soon as that can be arranged and she also hoped to visit Israel.
She said she will "explore the possibility" of visiting a number of other states in the region -- GENEVA (AFP)
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