Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank violate international law, and Israel must “cease” all settlement activities without preconditions, according to a UN fact-finding mission concluded in a report released on Thursday.
The inquiry which was led by French judge Christine Chanet, states that a multitude of the human rights of the Palestinians are violated in various forms and ways due to the existence of the settlements.
According to the report, these violations are all interrelated forming part of an overall pattern of breaches that are characterized principally by the denial of the right to self-determination and systemic discrimination against the Palestinian people which occur on a daily basis.
Since 1967, Israeli governments have openly led, directly participated in, and had full control of the planning, construction, development, consolidation and encouragement of settlements, the report states.
“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 from France.
The report states that settlements are established and developed for the exclusive benefit of Israeli Jews. The settlements are maintained and advanced through a system of total segregation between the settlers and the rest of the population living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This system of segregation is supported and facilitated by strict military and law enforcement control to the detriment of the rights of the Palestinian population.
“We are today calling on the government of Israel to ensure full accountability for all violations, put an end to the policy of impunity and to ensure justice for all victims,” said Ms. Asma Jahangir, member of the Mission from Pakistan.
The report also states that Israel is committing serious breaches of its obligations under the right to self-determination and under humanitarian law. The report concludes that the Rome Statute establishes the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the transfer of populations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
“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,” said Ms. Unity Dow, member of the Mission from Botswana.