Netanyahu blasts B'Tselem ahead of NGO's UN address

Netanyahu blasts B'Tselem ahead of NGO's UN address
The Israeli prime minister slammed the human rights organisation on Sunday, as its director is set to speak before the UN Security Council later this week.
2 min read
15 October, 2018
Netanyahu on Sunday slammed Israeli rights group B'Tselem [AFP]
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday slammed Israeli rights group B'Tselem, known for condemning his government's policies against Palestinians.

Speaking at a summit in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the NGO, which documents Israeli violations in occupied Palestinian territories, was "a disgrace".

"How do I define B'Tselem? A disgrace. That's how I define B’Tselem," he said at the Christian Media Summit.

Netanyahu's comments came after the NGO announced on Saturday its director will given an address at a UN Security Council session this week.

Hagai El-Ad is set to speak as a representative of civil society on Thursday during the Council's quarterly discussion on the Middle East.

In 2016, El-Ad took part in a UN Security Council session, in which he urged the international community to take action against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

"With every breath they take, Palestinians are breathing in occupation," he said in his address, drawing condemnation from Israeli politicians, including Netanyahu who threatened to suspend volunteers from joining the NGO.

Israeli settlements are considered a violation of international law and major stumbling blocks to peace efforts as they are built on Palestinian land.

According to Peace Now, settlement plans in the West Bank have increased since the beginning of 2017, when Donald Trump, a key ally of Netanyahu, was inaugurated as president of the United States.

About 430,000 Israeli settlers live among 2.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.