Germany has canceled its condemnation of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry into the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT) in response to the Israeli occupation’s expediting settlement projects, Walla reported Friday, June 23, 2023.
Israeli and German sources said that Berlin’s decision came in response to the occupation government’s decision at the beginning of the week to build thousands of new housing units in West Bank settlements and place them under the jurisdiction of extremist Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
Walla pointed out that Germany is Tel Aviv’s most important ally in Europe and the second most important globally after the US. Germany’s effort to curb anti-Israel moves in the United Nations is vital.
It added the German move surprised Tel Aviv, which is a practical indication of the growing frustration of the government in Berlin with the policy of the far-right Netanyahu government in the West Bank.
The United States submitted a statement condemning the UN Commission of Inquiry during the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where the signatories expressed their concern over the open-ended mandate of the Commission.
Senior German and Israeli officials said that Germany sent an official message to the Israeli occupation that withdrawing support for the US statement is a response to the Israeli government’s decision to expand settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.
“Germany announced that it would join the announcement, but a day after the government’s decision to shorten the construction approval procedures in the settlements, the Germans announced they were withdrawing their signature,” said Israeli journalist Barak Ravid.
On Sunday, the Israeli occupation announced the approval of constructing about 4,500 settlement units in settlements throughout the occupied West Bank.