[QODLink]
Middle East
UN body to probe Israeli settlements
UN rights group calls for a look into how Israeli settlements affect Palestinian rights.
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 19:04
Israel's move to expand settlements has been criticised by the international community as being illegal [Reuters]

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution ordering a first probe into how Israeli settlements may be infringing on the rights of the Palestinians.

The resolution was adopted on Thursday, with 36 votes in favour and 10 abstentions. Only the United States voted against it.

Presenting the resolution, a Pakistani envoy criticised Israel for insisting on building more settlements in the occupied territories, saying that they are "in violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws".

"This resolution seeks to respond to the humanitarian and human rights challenges this illegal Israeli practice has created in the occupied territories," he said.

Beyond ordering an investigation into the implications of settlements, the resolution also calls on Israel to "take and implement serious measures" such as confiscating arms to prevent acts of violence by Israeli settlers.

The United States, however, spoke up against the move, saying it was "deeply troubled by this Council's bias against Israel".

"Steps like this do nothing to promote a just and lasting peace," said a US envoy, adding that they only serve to "push parties apart".

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, swiftly slammed the resolution as "hypocritical".

"This council has an automatic majority hostile to Israel and is hypocritical," Netanyahu was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office.

He added that the UN Human Rights Council "should be ashamed of itself."

Earlier this week, UN rights chief Navi Pillay said the expansion of Israeli settlements is deeply linked to problems, including violence, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.