Israel Preps for Palestinian U.N. Offensive

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JERUSALEM -- Israel's diplomats are preparing for a propaganda war at the United Nations in the next few days, instigated by the Palestinian Authority.

The PA and supporting nations will attempt to have Israel censured for the Gaza military campaign last winter, for the extended "siege" of Gaza, and for "provocations" in Jerusalem, including the recent riots on the Temple Mount.

A Palestinian draft resolution obtained by the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, called "The Human Rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem," is scheduled to be voted upon Monday at the U.N. Human Rights Commission session in New York. Israeli Foreign Ministry officials have called the document "very extreme."

The resolution calls Israel an "occupying power" in Jerusalem and condemns "all policies and measures taken by Israel…to limit access of Palestinians to their properties and holy sites particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem, on the basis of national origin, religion, sex, age or any other status."

Israel banned male Muslim worshipers with Israeli ID cards from the Temple Mount last week after riots erupted in the wake of rumors that Israel was digging near the Temple Mount to undermine the foundation of the Al Aqsa Mosque. During the recent Jewish Succot holiday, Palestinians threw stones at tourists near the Western Wall and at ultra-Orthodox Jews praying on the Mount of Olives.

The resolution also demands that Israel "immediately cease all digging and excavation works…beneath and around Al Aqsa Mosque and its vicinity, and refrain from any acts or operations that may endanger the structure or foundations or change the nature of holy sites," both Christian and Muslim.

Concerning Israel's military operation in Gaza, the resolution embraces the findings of the Goldstone Report conducted by the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which alleges that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes.

In advance of U.N. deliberations on the Goldstone Report, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called it "twisted and biased" and urged top leaders of western democracies to reject the report's findings, saying they "will likely give encouragement to terror organizations across the world," and hinder the ability of free societies to fight terrorism.

Sources: Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Post

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