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UN report proves beyond doubt that Israeli settlements violate human rights: Crowe

31 January, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has said that the UN Human Rights Council’s report on Israel proves beyond doubt that Israeli settlements in the occupied territories violate Palestinians' human rights in ways specifically designed to drive them off their land.
The report comes two days after Israel failed to turn up to the UN Human Rights Council’s review of its human rights record, and became the first state to boycott its own review.
Deputy Crowe said:
“I welcome this independent report from the UN Human Rights Council which proves beyond doubt that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are violating Palestinians’ human rights.
“This report agrees with what the vast majority of international actors have been saying since settlement building began.
“The settlement colonies crossly impede on Palestinians human rights by restricting their access to water resources and agricultural lands.
“According to the report, there are approximately 250 settlement colonies in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and they hold an estimated 520,000 settlers.
“It states that the settlements contravene the 1949 Geneva Conventions forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory and that Israel must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions.
“The report also states that the settlement colonies are leading to the annexation of Palestinian land by the Israeli state, and that it is hindering the creation of a continuous and viable Palestinian state. This also undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
“I once again call on the Israeli Government to immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the Occupied Palestinian Territories and end its policy of establishing new colonies in Palestine.”

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