Palestine blames Israel on resignation of UN special rapporteur

Wibisono`s resignation was widely reported by the Middle East media.
Cairo (ANTARA News) - HAMAS, the Palestinian authorities in Gaza, has blamed Israel on the resignation of Dr Makarim Wibisono, the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.

"The decision of the US Special Rapporteur to resign is the fault of Israel that comes in the way of him performing his tasks as mandated by the UN in Palestine," HAMAS spokesman Mushir Al Masri informed Antara correspondent in Cairo, Wednesday evening.

Wibisono, a senior diplomat from Indonesia, had made several attempts to visit Gaza through the Rafa border crossing in Egypt, but he failed.

"The failure of the UN special rapporteur to visit Gaza from the Rafa border crossing is due to Israels pressure on the Egyptian government," Masri stated.

Wibisonos resignation was widely reported by the Middle East media.

The Al Hayat newspaper said that Wibisono ended up similar to his predecessor, Richard Folk who had been denied entry into Palestine by Israel.

The Al Akhbar newspaper has called Israel as being arrogant for denying the UN Special Rapporteur from carrying out his tasks safely.

The UN News Center reported on January 4 that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories was resigning due to Israels failure to grant him access to the areas he is tasked with monitoring.

"Unfortunately, my efforts to help improve the lives of the Palestinian victims of violations under the Israeli occupation have been hampered every step of the way," Wibisono noted in reference to his resignation, which he submitted to the president of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council today and will come into effect on March 31.

"I took up this mandate with the understanding that Israel would grant me access as an impartial and objective observer," he added, stressing that after assuming his post in June 2014, he was given assurance that he would have access to the occupied Palestinian territory. However, repeated requests for access, both written and oral, have been unsuccessful.

"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," he remarked.

He will present his last report to the Human Rights Council in March.(*)