Israel urges UN chief to cancel ouster of top official who condemned PIJ rocket fire

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, on Sunday urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to reverse the decision to remove the director of one of the organization’s offices after he tweeted. slander Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket fire at Israel.

In a letter to Guterres, Erdan wrote to Guterres, claiming that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OCHA) decided to remove Sarah Muscroft from her post, claiming the surrender of local staff, including Palestinian activists. [them] It has an ‘unwritten veto’ on UN statements and is in clear contradiction to the fundamental principles of objectivity and neutrality claimed by the UN.

A UN spokesman revealed to The Times of Israel on Saturday that Muscroft would be appointed to the new role, five days after her tweet sparked outrage among pro-Palestinian activists.

“It is a relief to see a ceasefire ending hostilities affecting Palestinian and Israeli civilians. Such indiscriminate rockets of Islamic Jihad are condemned as provoking Israeli retaliation. The safety of all civilians is paramount – the ceasefire must be maintained,” Muscroft wrote.

She later deleted the post and tweeted an apology the next day, saying “one of my previous tweets was misinformed and I have deleted it. I sincerely apologize for my wrong decision. All citizens – everywhere – should be able to live in peace.

Explaining the decision to remove Muscroft, OCHA Deputy Spokesperson Jens Larke said, “OCHA has been present in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the past 20 years, working to help meet humanitarian needs guided by the humanitarian principles of neutrality, fairness and humanity. The more than two million people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory who need help – they remain our sole focus and priority. “

In a letter to Guterres, Erdan acknowledged that Israel often disagreed with positions taken by Muscroft and publicly opposed them. However, it did so in a “normal way” befitting a democracy.

Accordingly, “Israel is upset that a Palestinian outcry over tweets would so quickly end a UN employee’s ability to keep his job and express himself. This shows the UN’s clear capitulation to threats and intimidation and is a deeply problematic ideal,” Erdan wrote.

File: Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. (United Nations Mission of Israel)

“At best, this is an act of misguided self-censorship by UN officials. At worst, it is a prescription for UN officials to place an exclusive emphasis on the Palestinian narrative, even if this contradicts the facts on the ground, honest reporting or Israel’s legitimate interests,” Erdan said.

He noted that the “norm” was also on display last year when the director of the Gaza office of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees was relocated and eventually replaced after an interview he gave to an Israeli news channel. agreed May 2021 Israeli airstrikes in Gaza were “accurate” during the Gaza conflict.

“Somehow, it’s always open season to criticize Israel, with no consequences; But if UN staff dare to speak out against Palestinian terrorism, there is an immediate reaction out of fear of retaliation,” Erdan lamented.

On August 7, 2022, a rocket was fired from Gaza City towards Israel from the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Hatam Moussa, File)

On the other hand, no such punitive action was taken against a member of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Claimed Last month the “Jewish lobby” controls social media, Erdan wrote.

“It is with the utmost concern that we ask that Ms Muscroft’s matter be investigated. We call on OCHA and the UN to reverse this unfortunate decision which is seen as a reward for intimidation and intimidation. While Israel supports constructive engagement with UN officials and agencies, we cannot accept such a blatant double standard,” the Israeli ambassador added.

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