UN: Israeli Settlements 'Violate Palestinian Rights'

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staff
Israeli settlements in the occupied territories violate Palestinians' human rights in ways designed to drive them off the land, a UN report states.

Palestinian woman

Israeli settlements in the occupied territories violate Palestinians' human rights in ways designed to drive them off the land, a UN report states.

The report says settlements displace Palestinians, destroy their crops and property, and subject them to violence.

It is likely further to damage relations between the UN Human Rights Council and Israel, analysts say.

Israel refused to co-operate with the inquiry by three UN researchers, and says the UN body is biased.

The French, Pakistani and Botswanan fact-finders said Israel was "committing serious breaches" of humanitarian law and demanded the government of Israel cease all settlement activities.

"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," Unity Dow, member of the fact-finding mission from Botswana, said in a statement.

"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."

Israel is sure to be angered by the report, which comes two days after Israel failed to turn up at a UN review of its human rights record, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva said.