Jerusalem, ALRAY - UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet has condemned the Israeli occupation's refusal to grant or renew visas for her staff in the occupied Palestinian territory.
“In 2020, the 15 international staff of my Office in Palestine – which has been operating in the country for 26 years – had no choice but to leave,” said Bachelet in a press statement Tuesday.
She continued: "Subsequent requests for visas and visa renewals have gone unanswered for two years. During this time, I have tried to find a solution to this situation, but Israel continues to refuse to engage."
Bachelet called on the Israeli occupation, as a member state, to "cooperate in good faith with the UN" and allow its staff to carry out their duties.
“Israel’s failure to process visa applications that are necessary for my staff’s access is inconsistent with these standards," Bachelet pointed out.
She explained that the Israeli occupation's decision raised questions of what it was “trying to hide”, vowing that her office would continue to monitor and report on the human rights situation in occupied Palestine.
According to the statement, Israeli occupation forces killed 320 Palestinians, a 10-fold increase compared with the number killed in 2020, and injured 17,042 people, six times the 2020 figure.
The UN recorded the highest number of settler violence cases since recording began in 2017, and arrests of Palestinians doubled last year.
So far this year, the Israeli occupation army has killed up to 111 more Palestinians.
The former Chilean president, who is due to leave office Wednesday after four years as the UN rights chief, said that the Israeli occupation's targeting of her staff was part of a "wider and worrying trend to block human rights access to the occupied Palestinian territory.”
Despite its international staff being barred, Bachelet's office stressed that it would continue monitoring compliance with human rights obligations in occupied Palestine.