In Jordan, United Nations Commissioners investigating Jewish settlements in the occupied territories were denied entry to the Israeli-controlled West Bank on Wednesday (23 May).
In Jordan, United Nations Commissioners investigating Jewish settlements in the occupied territories were denied entry to the Israeli-controlled West Bank on Wednesday (23 May). The three-man fact finding team arrived in Amman on Sunday (20 May) on the first stage of a Middle East tour to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. Israel has refused to co-operate with the investigation or allow the Commissioners to visit any of the occupied areas of the West Bank, Gaza or Sinai.
SYNOPSIS: The West Bank of the River Jordan was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. The King Hussein Bridge, which was formerly known as the Allenby Bridge, marks the border between Jordan and the occupied west side.
The Commission, whose members are from Portugal, Bolivia and Zambia, was set up under the United Nations Security Council's resolution of March the twenty-second, which described the Israeli settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace in the Middle East.
Jordanian Information Minister Adnan Abu Odeh accompanied the team which is led by the Portuguese representative, Leonardo Mathias. Apart from denying access, Israel has also refused to allow Arab residents in the West Bank to give evidence to the Commission. Five un-named West Bank residents reached Amman and told the Commissioners about their experiences under Israeli occupation. Jordan's King Hussein also met the investigators and said Israel aimed to empty the occupied territories of their Arab inhabitants. He claimed the Jewish settlements were intended to legitimise what he described as Israel's illegal presence on the West Bank.