22 November 2006 – The top United Nations human rights official held talks today with senior Israeli judges and a government minister as she continued her five-day visit to the country and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the wake of the rising violence there in recent weeks.
In Jerusalem, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Louise Arbour met the current and former Presidents of Israel’s Supreme Court and its Deputy Defence Minister. She also held talks with a wide range of human rights defenders.
Ms. Arbour is scheduled to wrap up her visit tomorrow by holding meetings in Tel Aviv with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the acting Justice Minister and officials from Israel’s Internal Security Agency.
Her visit to the region follows Israel’s deadly assault on 8 November in the town of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip, when 19 Palestinians were killed and some 60 others injured during the artillery shelling of a residential area.
At least 82 Palestinians have been killed since the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) began their latest offensive in the Gaza Strip near the end of last month. One Israeli woman was killed last week when a rocket struck the town of Sderot.