UN rights investigators urge Israel to remove settlers from West Bank

UN rights investigators urge Israel to remove settlers from West Bank

PanARMENIAN.Net - UN human rights investigators called on Israel on Thursday, January 31 to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all half a million Jewish settlers from the occupied West Bank, saying that its practices could be subject to prosecution as possible war crimes, according to Reuters.

A three-member UN panel said private companies should stop working in the settlements if their work adversely affected the human rights of Palestinians, and urged member states to ensure companies respected human rights.

"Israel must cease settlement activities and provide adequate, prompt and effective remedy to the victims of violations of human rights," Christine Chanet, a French judge who led the UN inquiry, told a news conference.

The settlements contravened the Fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory and could amount to war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations report said.

"To transfer its own population into an occupied territory is prohibited because it is an obstacle to the exercise of the right to self-determination," Chanet said.

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