JERUSALEM - The authorities in Israel denied renewing the visa of a top United Nations official, in what appears to be a highly nondiplomatic move.
The administration told the top rights body that it would not renew the visa for Lynn Hastings who was involved with the humanitarian efforts in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, a UN spokesperson confirmed on Friday.
The Canadian-born official has served as the deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory for nearly three years but the denial has come as a shock to many.
UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, told newsmen that UN staff does not overstay their visas in any country, adding that Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has full confidence in Hastings.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry alleged the United Nations of bias and confirmed that supervision was being exercised in the issuance of visas.
“That’s why Israel decided to check on – one by one – the visas that are issued to representatives of the UN,” the spokesperson said.
The denial of the visa comes weeks after Israel’s Foreign Ministry accused Hastings of failing to be impartial and objective, a claim the United Nations rejects.
'You’ve seen some very public attacks on Twitter against her which were utterly unacceptable. Personal direct attacks on UN personnel, anywhere around the world, are unacceptable and put people’s lives at risks,' Dujarric said but did not confirm whether Hastings would be replaced or not.
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the UN Security Council that the Gaza Strip was in the midst of an “epic humanitarian catastrophe’.
As far as the violence is concerned, Israeli forces have resumed bombing Palestinian areas, and up till today, the death toll has crossed 15,000.
The Qatar-brokered ceasefire ended on Friday though the rights groups are pressing both sides to exercise restraint and look for ways to achieve durable peace.
Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.
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