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Israel will not cooperate with UN settlements probe

Israel has called the UN investigation into the West Bank settlements “biased and flawed."

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Children of Jewish settlers play outside their homes in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El, West Bank. An order was handed down by the Supreme Court to remove the Ulpana neighborhood which is disputed to be built upon privately owned Palestinian land. In the hope of finding a political solution that will keep the settlement intact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested that the High Court delay the demolition order. (Uriel Sinai/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel has pushed back against the United Nations' investigation into its West Bank settlements once more, calling the probe “biased and flawed," RT News reported

On Friday, the UN Human Rights council appointed three international jurists to its mission: Christine Chanet of France, Unity Dow of Botswana, and Asma Jahangir of Pakistan, the Jerusalem Post reported.

"The fact-finding mission will find no cooperation in Israel and its members will not be allowed to enter Israel and the territories," said Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, the Post reported. "Its existence embodies the inherent distortion that typifies the UNHRC treatment of Israel and the hijacking of the important human rights agenda by non-democratic countries."

More from GlobalPost: Israel breaks with UN Human Rights Council over settlement inquiry

The Jewish state severed its ties with the UN council after the body announced it would investigate the West Bank outposts, which are illegal under international law, in March. However, the Human Rights Council is pressing forward with its mission, Agence France Presse reported

"Allow me to reiterate the council's request to Israel ... not to obstruct the process of investigation and to cooperate fully with the mission," said UNHRC president Laura Dupuy Lasserre, according to the AFP. 

The fact-finding mission will "investigate the implications of the settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem," AFP reported. 

More from GlobalPost: Tile by tile, Palestinians build Israeli settlements

The team will gather evidence from second-hand sources such as local media since it will not be permitted to enter Israel, RT News reported, adding that "even if the mission finds that the settlements violate human rights, any attempts to punish Israel will most probably be defused by the US, Israel’s key ally." 

The commission is expected to present a final report of its findings to the Human Rights Council in March 2013, the International Middle East Media Center reported

There are more than 500,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank, including in and around East Jerusalem, according to the Middle East Media Center, and 

More from GlobalPost: Jewish settlers evacuated from West Bank Ulpana outpost

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/120707/israel-will-not-cooperate-un-settlement-probe