UN rights office says Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas amount to a 'war crime'

U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk said that he presented the report to the Human Rights Council on Friday.

March 09, 2024 03:01 am | Updated 03:01 am IST - GENEVA

The U.N. human rights office says in a report published Friday that the establishment and expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem amount to a war crime.

The report covers the one-year period from Nov. 1, 2022, to Oct. 31, 2023, when it says roughly 24,300 housing units in existing settlements in the West Bank were “advanced” — the highest number in a year since monitoring began in 2017. It deplored an increase in the building of new settlement homes in recent months.

“The West Bank is already in crisis. Yet, settler violence and settlement-related violations have reached shocking new levels, and risk eliminating any practical possibility of establishing a viable Palestinian state,” U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk said. He presented the report to the Human Rights Council on Friday.

Reports this week that Israel plans to build nearly 3,500 settler homes in three areas "fly in the face of international law,” he said.

Türk said the creation and expansion of settlements amount to the transfer by Israel of its own population into territories that it occupies, “which amounts to a war crime under international law,” his office said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli diplomatic mission in Geneva.

Much of the international community considers the settlements to be illegal under international law.

Expanded settlement activity and an upsurge in violence in the West Bank in recent months have been largely overshadowed by bloodshed and displacement of Palestinians in Gaza, where Israeli forces have led a blistering military campaign against the militant group Hamas following its deadly Oct. 7 attacks in Israel.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.