Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Another Mideast envoy fed up with quartet

Haider Rizvi, The Electronic Intifada, Oct 16, 2007

".....Expressing his anger and frustration at the fast-deteriorating human rights situation in Gaza and the West Bank, John Dugard, the UN special rapporteur on human rights for the Palestinian territories since 2001, has suggested that the world body quit the Middle East Quartet.

The UN "does itself little good by remaining a member of the Quartet," he said in an interview with the BBC Monday, adding that the Quartet has done nothing to protect Palestinian civilians.

"Every time I visit, the situation seems to have worsened," he said. "This time I was very struck by the sense of hopelessness among the Palestinian people.".....

"Until and unless a just and comprehensive peace is seen by the US to be as strategic an interest as keeping military secrets safe, peace will remain an elusive goal," said Nadia Hijab, a senior fellow at the US-based Institute for Palestinian Studies.

The UN's Dugard has drawn similar conclusions. In his view, the pro-US Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas has raised high hopes among its people. "If those expectations are not met," he warned," there would be serious consequences, including violent uprising against the Israelis."

Dugard is due to present his report on the Palestinian human rights situation to the UN General Assembly later this month. He said he would urge Ban to take the UN out of the Quartet if it fails to address the human rights situation."

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