UN rights head slams Israeli violations

PressTV –  Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:51AM

United Nations High Commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has denounced Israeli illegal settlements built on occupied Palestinian lands as “clear-cut violations of human rights on a very large scale.”

At the end of a six-day visit to the region, Pillay criticized Israel for ignoring the harm done to Palestinians by its settlement policy and the construction of a vast West Bank barrier.

“I have been struck by the complacency with which the entirely-avoidable predicament of Palestinians affected by the wall and settlements is treated by Israeli authorities with whom I have discussed these issues,” she said.

“They tend to be brushed aside as if they are minor matters. They are not. They are clear-cut violations of human rights on a very large scale,” she said, describing how she had met a man whose house is entirely surrounded by a Jewish settlement.

Pillay also called for a halt on all settlement-related activities in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), as well as actions to coerce Palestinians to leave the area, including evictions, demolitions, displacements and the cancellation of residency permits on a discriminatory basis.

“East Jerusalem (al-Quds) is being steadily drained of its Palestinian inhabitants, in clear-cut defiance of Security Council resolutions,” she said.

Israel seized East al-Quds along with the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War, and later annexed it in defiance of calls from the international community.

It has, so far, ignored calls by the Palestinians and the United States for a halt to settlement activities in the West Bank and, in particular, al-Quds, which it claims as its “eternal, indivisible” capital.

SB/MMA

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