Sunday, August 21, 2011

UN Committee condemns Israeli settlements

A meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (file photo)

Source: Press TV

A United Nations committee on the rights of the Palestinians has strongly condemned Israel's settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.

“Recent Israeli settlement announcements undermine international efforts aimed at bringing the parties back to negotiations,” the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People said in a statement on Saturday, the UN News Center reported.

The communiqué expressed concern over Israel's approval of 5,200 new settlement units in occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in August alone.

“They have a corrosive effect on confidence and undermine goodwill, absent which serious and genuine permanent status negotiations are unlikely to succeed,” it stated.

“All unilateral actions by Israel which prejudge the outcome of negotiations by creating faits accomplis on the ground have no legal validity.”

The bureau condemned Israel for seeking to encircle and separate East al-Quds from the rest of occupied Palestinian territories behind a wall of settlements.

The committee noted that fragmenting the West Bank would help Israel prevent the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state based on the two-State solution enshrined in the Road Map.

The bureau called on Israel to immediately halt all its settlement activity in the West Bank and East al-Quds and dismantle outposts erected since 2001.

“The bureau calls for credible and decisive action to compel Israel to abide by its legal obligations and to protect Palestinian civilians under prolonged military occupation from the damaging effects of settlements and settlers,” the committee urged.

“The Security Council and the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions bear a special responsibility in this regard,” it concluded.

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