Occupied Palestine (In Palestine Today)- A top UN expert called the international community to designate the creation of Israeli settlements as a war crime.
Michael Lynk, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, said the settlements constitute a “violation of the absolute prohibition against settler implantation”.
“In my report, I conclude that the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime,” the UN expert said while presenting his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
He said the settlements violate an absolute ban on an occupying power transferring part of its civilian population into occupied territory, thereby meeting the definition of a war crime under the Rome Statute founding the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“I submit to you that this finding compels the international community … to make it clear to Israel that its illegal occupation, and its defiance of international law and international opinion, can and will no longer be cost-free,” Lynk told the Geneva rights forum.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamard, reiterated that Israel’s settlement activity amounts to a war crime.
Callamard said stressed the findings of Lynk’s report on her Twitter account.
Also, former member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee Hanan Ashrawi posted on Twitter: “Calling things by their name!”
“UN Human Rights Council Rapporteur on Palestine, Michael Lynk, clearly seeks int’l accountability for #IsraeliCrimes,” she wrote.