GENEVA (Feb. 19)
The U.N. Human Rights Commission adopted a resolution last Friday condemning Israel for settling immigrants in the administered territories.
The United States abstained, as it did on a similar resolution last year.
Israel is not a member of the commission but its observer, Rafael Walden, flatly denied allegations his government was settling immigrants deliberately in the territories.
The resolution, supported by 38 member states, including many European countries, urged Israel not to allow immigrants to settle in the administered territories or on the Golan Heights, which Israel annexed in 1980.
The resolution asserted that large-scale settlement could alter the physical character and demography of the territories in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which forbids an occupying power from transferring populations into or out of seized territory.
The United States opposed and most Western countries abstained on a resolution dealing with human rights abuses, which contained a reference to Israeli “concentration camps” in the territories.
Walden contended the Arab countries oppose all Jewish immigration to Israel, regardless of where the newcomers settle.