The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) condemned Israel the most during 2020, according to a report by the UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental organisation that monitors the performance of the global body.
With two of its resolutions criticising Israel last week, the UNGA brought its total number of resolutions against the country to 17 – almost three times compared with the rest of the world, standing at six.
There was one resolution each adopted for North Korea, Iran, Syria, Myanmar and two on Crimea, the report said.
While pro-Israeli activists criticise the UN for routinely adopting decisions against the country, one of the resolutions involves Israel for exploiting the natural resources of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Syrians in the occupied Golan Heights.
That resolution in November stated it is “deeply concerned that Israel has not withdrawn from the Syrian Golan, which has been under occupation since 1967” and stresses “the illegality of the Israeli settlement construction and other activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967”.
Another resolution in October says it is imperative to resolve the issue of the Palestine refugees and urges both sides to deal with Palestinian refugees’ properties and their revenues within the peace negotiations.
The UNGA resolutions are non-binding, but they carry symbolic importance in world affairs.
Last month, the UN’s Middle East envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, said he is “very concerned” by Israel’s decision to advance construction in an illegal Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem that would make establishing a contiguous Palestinian state even harder, reiterating that “settlement construction is illegal under international law”.
The move also risked angering the incoming United States’ administration led by President-elect Joe Biden, who has opposed settlement expansion and hopes to revive negotiations over a two-state solution.
Earlier this year, Israel suspended its ties with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) after the agency published a list of more than 100 companies working in illegal settlements in the West Bank.
Israel in October this year also stopped issuing visas to UN human rights workers in Palestine, forcing them to leave, including OHCHR country director, James Heenan.