UN official wants to probe Palestinians as well as Israel

The controversial new U.N. investigator into Israel’s alleged human-rights abuses said his report should include Palestinian violations as well.

Richard Falk, a Jewish-American academic who angered Israel by likening its conduct in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Nazi tactics, said in his first address to the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday that his mandate should be expanded.

Falk proposed that the council also have him undertake “inquiry into Palestinian violations of international human law,” to offset criticism of the 47-nation body “from those who contend that its work is tainted by partisan politics.”

Israel has accused the council, like other agencies in the United Nations, of overly scrutinizing its actions while overlooking more problematic countries, especially in the Arab and Muslim world.

Diplomats said the Human Rights Council was likely to grant Falk’s request for an expanded mandate. The U.N. official has sought to calm Israeli anger at his appointment and vowed to be “objective and impartial” in his work.

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