Left-wing Israeli parties Monday said they would challenge the Cabinet's decision not to cooperate with a U.N. team investigating the shooting deaths of at least 19 Palestinians by Israeli police.
The Cabinet on Sunday called the U.N. mission "unacceptable" and said the delegation should stay away from Israel. The decision defied not only the United Nations but its chief ally, the United States.Israel took on the United States on a second issue, announcing a new housing plan that ignores American pleas not to settle newly arrived Soviet immigrants in territory captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
The main opposition Labor Party was expected to support the left-wing challenge to the Cabinet decision during debate Monday in the opening fall session of the Knesset, or parliament, legislators said.
Even with Labor support, the motion will have a difficult time overcoming the 62-seat majority of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's right-wing coalition in the 120-member parliament. But Shamir's hold could be weakened by arguments with Shas, an ultra-Orthodox religious party.
Labor and small left-wing parties have 54 votes in parliament.
Amnon Rubinstein, head of the small Shinui Party, said he believed the Cabinet decision was a mistake since it would isolate Israel from the United States and the world community.
"It is a response that will damage Israel's relations with her friends overseas, will weaken her influence in the United States and would exclude her from the concensus which the Western family of nations has constructed against (Iraqi president) Saddam Hussein," Rubinstein said.
The Labor Party also has urged low-level police and city officials to cooperate with U.N. envoys so Israel's side would be heard.
Egypt, the only Arab state to have signed a peace treaty with Israel, expressed regret Monday that Israel will not receive a U.N. mission investigating the police killing of at least 19 Palestinians in Jerusalem.
Cairo Radio noted that U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar asked the investigators to go to Israel to examine "Israel's responsibility for the regrettable events of Oct. 8 at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem."
Foreign Minister Esmat Abdel-Meguid called on Israel to "comply with the will of the international community," the state-owned radio said.