April 13, 2024

GENEVA: Increasing Israeli settlements within the occupied Palestinian territories constitutes “a warfare crime” and dangers eliminating “any sensible chance” of a viable Palestinian state, the United Nations rights chief warned on Friday.

Volker Turk stated there had been a drastic acceleration in Israel’s unlawful settlement constructing within the occupied West Financial institution, similtaneously it wages a relentless warfare within the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

The UN excessive commissioner for human rights stated creating and increasing settlements amounted to the switch by Israel of its personal civilian inhabitants into occupied territories.

“Such transfers quantity to a warfare crime which will have interaction the person felony accountability of these concerned,” he stated in a report back to the UN Human Rights Council.

Reported Israeli plans to construct one other 3,476 settler houses within the West Financial institution colonies of Maale Adumim, Efrat and Kedar flew “within the face of worldwide legislation,” he stated.

Israel seized the West Financial institution, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip within the 1967 Arab-Israeli warfare.

It’s unlawful below worldwide legislation for Israel to determine settlements in these Palestinian territories.

Regardless of opposition overseas, Israel has in current many years construct dozens of settlements throughout the West Financial institution.

They’re now house to greater than 490,000 Israelis, dwelling in the identical territory as round three million Palestinians.

Israel gave the go-ahead for the houses fewer than two weeks after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated any settlement growth can be “counterproductive to reaching enduring peace” with the Palestinians.

Turk stated that throughout the interval coated by his report — November 1, 2022, to October 31, 2023 — some 24,300 housing items have been added to current Israeli settlements within the West Financial institution.

That marks the biggest quantity on document since monitoring started in 2017;

It consists of practically 9,700 items in East Jerusalem, the UN rights workplace stated.

Turk’s report discovered that the Israeli authorities’s insurance policies “seem aligned, to an unprecedented extent, with the targets of the Israeli settler motion to increase long-term management over the West Financial institution, together with East Jerusalem, and to steadily combine this occupied territory into the State of Israel.”

On the identical time, Palestinians are being pressured from their houses by Israeli settler and state violence, it stated.

It additionally pointed to pressured evictions, non-issuance of constructing permits, house demolitions and motion restrictions imposed on Palestinians.

“Settler violence and settlement-related violations have reached stunning new ranges, and threat eliminating any sensible chance of building a viable Palestinian state,” Turk warned.

His report discovered there had been 602 settler assaults towards Palestinians simply since October 7, when Hamas’s assault inside Israel, resulting in warfare in Gaza.

The UN rights workplace stated it had documented 9 Palestinians killed by settlers utilizing firearms, and one other 396 killed by Israeli safety forces.

One other two have been killed by both Israeli safety forces or settlers.