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Israeli settlements 'violate Palestinian rights': UN

UN investigators on Thursday called for Israel to cease settlement expansion immediately.

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Israeli settlers wave their national flag as they march from the Ulpana outpost to the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem, on June 4, 2012 in Beit El, West Bank. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank violate Palestinians' human rights, said a new UN report

After a six-month investigation, the International Fact-Finding Mission said Israeli settlements violated Geneva Conventions, which according to The New York Times, "prohibit a state from transferring its own civilian population into territory it has occupied."

“In compliance with Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel must cease all settlement activities without preconditions,” said Ms. Christine Chanet, chair of the Mission. Israel's actions could fall under International Criminal Court's jurisdiction, according to Reuters.

Israel's official response from its foreign ministry said that the council was "systematically one-sided and biased."

"Counterproductive measures, such as the report before us, will only hamper efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict," said military spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Last year the Human Rights Council agreed to investigate Palestinian rights, and Israel refused to cooperate, saying the probe was bias, Reuters reported.

In unequivocal terms, Unity Dow, member of the fact-finding mission from Botswana, condemned Israel's settlement practices.

"The magnitude of violations relating to Israel’s policies of dispossessions, evictions, demolitions and displacements from land shows the widespread nature of these breaches of human rights. The motivation behind violence and intimidation against the Palestinians and their properties is to drive the local populations away from their lands, allowing the settlements to expand,” Dow said in a statement.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/130131/israeli-settlements-violate-palestinian-rights-un