UN cancels Hamas official visit to Human Rights Council after Israeli complaint

A top Hamas official’s appearance before the UN’s Human Rights Council was canceled on Monday following an official complaint filed by Israel.

Israeli Ambassador Aharon Leshno-Yaar says he wrote to UN officials urging them to deny Ismail Al-Ashqar access to the UN’s European headquarters because of Hamas’ advocacy of violence against Israel.

Human Rights Council AP May 21, 2010.

A session of the Human Rights Council at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, May 31, 2010. - Photo by AP

Following the complaint the UN chief in Geneva barred Al-Ashqar from entering the Human Rights Council hall, and he was asked to leave the UN compound in Geneva.

Leshno-Yaar wrote to UN officials that Al-Ashqar is known to have preached for terror attacks against Israel. “The UN is part of the Quartet, which is asking all sides in the Middle East to denounce terror and commit to agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he wrote. “It is unacceptable that a representative of a terrorist organization will appear in a UN-sponsored framework.


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By Shlomo Shamir and The Associated Press