United Nations says Israel must remove settlers
U.N. human rights investigators called on Israel on Thursday 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.
A three-member U.N. 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 U.N. 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…
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reacted to the inquiry’s findings by repeating his position that “all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law”…
Israel’s foreign ministry swiftly rejected the report as “counterproductive and unfortunate.” Palestinians welcomed the report, saying it vindicated their struggle against Israel…
…Hanan Ashrawi, a senior PLO official, told Reuters in Ramallah: “This is incredible. We are extremely heartened by this principled and candid assessment of Israeli violations.”
It’s time to confront American corporations doing business with Israel in the captive lands. Just because the Colonial Israeli government – and Israeli corporations – agree on a policy of Lebensraum makes collaborating US firms no less guilty.