UN rejects request by Arab MK to probe Bedouins’ living conditions

UN rejects request by Arab MK to probe Bedouins’ living conditions

Joint (Arab) List leader Ayman Odeh conveys message through Palestinian envoy, infuriating ambassador Danny Danon

Leader of the Joint (Arab) List Ayman Odeh (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Leader of the Joint (Arab) List Ayman Odeh (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The United Nations on Thursday denied a request by Joint (Arab) List leader Ayman Odeh to send an investigative team to southern Israel to probe the living conditions of the Jewish state’s Bedouin community.

In a move that riled Israel’s envoy to the United Nations, Odeh chose to send his letter to UN Director-General Ban Ki-moon via the Palestinian UN representative, rather than through Ambassador Danny Danon.

In his letter to Ban, Odeh wrote he “would like to ask you to dispatch a fact-finding mission to the Negev to examine the dire situation of the land’s indigenous Arab population, and work to secure their rights as guaranteed by international law and conventions.”

Jeffrey Feltman, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, replied to deny Odeh’s request. The reply was sent to the Israeli mission to the UN.

Danon condemned Odeh’s decision to convey the message through the Palestinian mission in a furious letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

“I find it appalling that MK Odeh decided to work together with the Palestinian representative who regularly spreads anti-Semitic lies against the State of Israel. A red line has been crossed,” said Danon.

Last month, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, compared Israel to Nazis, claiming the government labels those who oppose it as terrorists. In November 2015, he accused Israel of harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians.

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