Israel has stopped granting any visas to employees at the United Nations’ human rights agency, effectively forcing the body’s top staff to leave, Middle East Eye can reveal.
In February, Israel announced it was suspending ties with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) after a report highlighted more than 100 companies that work in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Since June all requests for new visas have gone unanswered, with passports sent off for renewals coming back empty.
Nine of the organisation’s 12 foreign staff have now left Israel and the Palestinian territories for fear of being undocumented there, the OHCHR confirmed. Among those is country director James Heenan.
The other three have visas that are due to expire in the coming months. Three staff due to travel to Israel to start their work have been unable to do so.Israel Stops Granting Visas to UN Human Rights Employees