"A United Nations report on establishing a database of companies with business interests in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is set to be delayed until later this year, diplomats and activists said on Friday.
The U.N. human rights office had been due to present its first report on the politically charged issue at a session that opens on Feb. 27, which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also due to address.
But the report is not ready and will be deferred for many months, at least until September, the sources said, adding that an announcement was expected on Monday.
'There is a need for more time, it is a very complex issue,' a Western diplomat told Reuters. 'You need to have a clear vision of how you list the companies, what is the exact criteria.'
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. Goods produced there include fruit, vegetables and wine.
Israel assailed the U.N. Human Rights Council last March for launching the initiative, calling the database a 'blacklist' and accusing the 47-member state forum of behaving 'obsessively' against Israel...
The United States, Israel's main ally, had no vote but voiced strong objections. U.S. human rights ambassador Keith Harper said at the time that the resolution was 'far outside' the council's mandate and highlighted its 'one-sided nature'..."