UNHRC slams Israel on human rights, settlements

UNHRC slams Israel on human rights, settlements
Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:57:24

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has blasted the Israeli regime for its continued illegal settlement building activities and the violation of Palestinians’ rights.

At the closure of the Human Rights Council’s 25th session in the Swiss city of Geneva on Friday, the council reaffirmed that the Israeli settlements in East al-Quds are illegal and an obstacle to peace, and called on Tel Aviv regime to immediately cease all of its settlement activities.

The UN's top human rights body also condemned the Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses and their expulsions.

The UN council called on Tel Aviv to put an end to the human rights violations related to the presence of the Israeli settlements. It also urged all states to ensure that they are not taking actions that would assist the expansion of Zionist settlements in the occupied territories.

On Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said construction of illegal settlements and settlers’ attacks against Palestinians are the major source of human rights violations in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds.

Pillay also voiced concerns over an increase in violence in and around the besieged Gaza Strip by Israeli troops.

"Israeli settlement-related activities and settler violence are at the core of many of the violations of human rights in the West Bank," Pillay said, adding such activities "also violate the entire spectrum of Palestinians' social, cultural, civil and political rights."

"Despite repeated calls for Israel to cease settlement activity, ongoing settlement construction, and acts of settler violence continue with devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians," said the UN top official.

UN observers in the West Bank documented "a dramatic increase in fatalities and injuries in incidents of use of force by Israeli security forces" in 2013, said Pillay, who is a former judge at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Experts believe that the presence and constant expansion of Zionist settlements in Palestinian land has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The Israeli regime has so far defied demands by the international community to stop construction of new settlements in West Bank and East al-Quds.


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