Liberman orders Defense Ministry to blackball UN Mideast envoy
Times of Israel, Sep 14 2016
The Defense Ministry was reportedly ordered to blackball UN mideast envoy Nikolai Mladenov in retaliation for the his criticism of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank. Defense Minister Avigdor ‘Yvette’ Liberman ordered staff to boycott Mladenov and refuse to work with him, Channel 2 TV reported Wednesday. Both the Defense Ministry and Mladenov declined to comment. A spox from Mladenov’s office said:
Mladenov is currently in New York, where tomorrow the UN Sec-Gen will be briefing the UNSC on the latest developments on the ground.
In 2014, then-FM Yvette unsuccessfully attempted to expel Mladenov’s predecessor Robert Serry from Israel for proposing a transfer of Qatari funds to Hamas employees in Gaza in an effort to resolve a pay crisis. Mladenov pummelled Israel in an Aug 29 briefing to the UNSC for a “surge” in its West Bank settlement building while demolishing Palestinian homes, saying:
For years we have been managing this conflict, while the occupation has continued, Palestinians have been dispossessed, and a one-state reality has been establishing itself on the ground. It is time for all of us, the leaders on both sides, with support from the region and the international community, to end the conflict on the basis of relevant UNSCRs, and in a manner that meets the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples.
Since Jul 1, Israel has advanced plans for over 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem and 735 units in the West Bank, Mladenov said. He singled out the Bedouin communities east of Jerusalem and in Susiya in the southern West Bank, warning:
The demolition of this community would set a dangerous precedent for displacement.