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Israel says it won’t cooperate with new UN panel probing settlements

Human Rights Council appoints three women panelists; Israel says it won’t let them into the country

A view of Efrat, a settlement near Jerusalem (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A view of Efrat, a settlement near Jerusalem (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

GENEVA — The UN’s top human rights body on Friday appointed three independent experts to conduct a fact-finding mission on how Israel’s West Bank settlements affect Palestinians.

The president of the UN Human Rights Council, Uruguay Ambassador Laura Dupuy Lasserre, named three women to the panel: Christine Chanet of France, Unity Dow of Botswana and Asma Jahangir of Pakistan.

Dupuy Lasserre said their mission will be to look how the Israeli settlements impact “the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people.” The panel is expected to begin work right away and report by next March.

The Geneva-based 47-nation council passed a resolution in March to establish such a probe.

The UN already considers Israeli settlements illegal under international law. Some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war, along with Gaza.

Israel on Friday reiterated its condemnation of the UNHRC, whose decisions, the Foreign Ministry said, were biased against Israel. It said it would not cooperate with the new panel, and that the panel’s members would not be allowed into Israel.

 

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