Home News Israeli diplomat criticises Swiss stance on Gaza

Israeli diplomat criticises Swiss stance on Gaza

Published on 12/01/2009

GENEVA - A senior Israeli diplomat criticised the Swiss government in a newspaper interview Sunday after Bern lent in its support to a UN draft resolution condemning human rights violations in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s ambassador Ilan Elgar told the SonntagsZeitung he considered Switzerland’s support for the resolution "very problematic, because Switzerland is in this way taking sides against Israel".

"We have contracted the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs," Elgar added, without giving further details.

Elgar also criticised a pro-Palestinian rally held in the capital Saturday, which called for Switzerland to break all military ties with Israel.

"We must not forget that hundreds of thousands of Israeli have lived for quite a long time in fear and worry of Hamas rockets", he said.

Switzerland was the only Western European country to back the preliminary resolution, supported by 32 members of the UN Human Rights Council, condemning the "grave human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories".

The resolution proposed late Friday underlined the civilian toll, especially in Gaza, and called for "the immediate cessation of Israeli military attacks" as well as an "end to the launching of crude rockets against Israeli civilians" in a concession to the European Union.

However the council remains deeply split. Some western countries see the draft as one-sided and said the resolution should condemn human rights violations by both sides and not simply call for a ceasefire.

[AFP / Expatica]