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UN rights panel criticises Israel’s settlement policies


GENEVA – A UN rights panel criticised Israel on Thursday for the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

UN Human Rights Commission presented its conclusions in Geneva after having reviewed Israel’s human rights record, especially its treatment of Palestinians.

“Israel should put an end to expropriation of land and allocation of state land for the expansion of settlements’’, the commission of 18 independent legal experts said in its final report.

The commission’s rapporteur, Cornelis Flinterman, noted that the number of Israeli settlements had doubled in the four years since the UN body last reviewed Israel.

Israel announced on Monday that it would build over 1,000 new homes in East Jerusalem, prompting international criticism and a UN Security Council meeting.

The Human Rights Commission also urged Israel to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip and demanded the prosecution of alleged rights violations during military campaigns in 2008 to 2009, 2012 and this year against militants in the coastal enclave.

Flinterman lauded Israel’s readiness to cooperate with the commission, and the written report noted that Israel had been reviewing several policies touching on the rights of Palestinians.

However, the document highlighted the underlying problem that Israel does not implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on Palestinian land.

According to the Commission, the interpretation runs counter to the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice. (dpa/NAN)

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