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Israel must end settlements from occupied West Bank: UN inquiry

Israel must end settlements from occupied West Bank: UN inquiry

United Nations: A UN human rights inquiry has called on Israel to withdraw all settlers from the West Bank and cease expansion.

The settlements violate international law, and are an attempt to drive out Palestinians through intimidation, a UN fact-finding mission concluded in a report released on Thursday.

The inquiry was led by French judge Christine Chanet, and included members Asma Jehangir of Pakistan and Unity Dow of Botswana.

The 1949 Geneva Convention forbids the transfer of civilian populations into the occupied territory, which could constitute war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it said.

Israel has refused to co-operate with the probe set up by the Human Rights Council last March to examine the impact of settlements in the territory, including East Jerusalem.

India had earlier asked Israel to end its settlement activity in West Bank and east Jerusalem, saying such a move is creating “new realities” on the ground and is threatening the very premise of a two-state solution with Palestine.

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