A U.N. report on establishing a database of companies with business ties to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank has been delayed, the U.N. Human Rights Council said on Monday.
Reuters reported on Friday that the politically sensitive report, due this month from the office of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, was not ready.
The council’s president, El Salvadoran ambassador Joaquin Alexander Maza Martelli, said on Monday that Hussein had written to him recommending the report be deferred till later this year.
The issue is sensitive because companies appearing in such a database could be targeted for boycotts or divestment aimed at stepping up pressure on Israel over its West Bank settlements, which most countries view as illegal. Goods produced there include fruit, vegetables and wine.
Israel assailed the council for launching the initiative, calling the database a “blacklist” and accusing the 47-member state forum of behaving “obsessively” against Israel.
There was no immediate reaction from Palestinian authorities to the delay. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to address the Geneva forum on Feb. 27.