WEST BANK (Dispatches) – Zionist settlements in the West Bank amount to a war crime, a UN human rights investigator said on Friday, calling on countries to make clear to the Zionist regime that its “illegal occupation” cannot be cost-free.
Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, was addressing a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“I conclude that the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime,” Lynk said. “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.”
Over 600 Academics: End ‘Apartheid Regime’
More than 600 scholars, artists, and intellectuals from over 45 countries across the world have lambasted the Zionist regime’s practices against Palestinians, calling for an immediate end to the ‘apartheid regime’ in the occupied territories.
In a petition, organized by the Association of Academics for the Respect of International Law in Palestine (AURDIP), the signatories called for a “democratic constitution” that ensures equal rights and an end to discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, or religion, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported on Thursday.
“Israel has established an apartheid regime over the entire territory of historic Palestine, directed against the entire Palestinian people, which it has deliberately fragmented,” the signed petition reads.
“Israel no longer seeks to conceal the character of its apartheid regime, asserting Jewish supremacy and self-determination rights reserved for Jews throughout historic Palestine under the new Basic Law passed in 2018 by the Knesset,” it added.
The signatories also called for an immediate end to the “apartheid regime”, urging equal rights for all and the need to prioritize the “long-delayed right of return of Palestinian refugees driven from their towns and villages during and after the creation of” the Zionist regime.
In a latest development, Zionist troops demolished the family home of a Palestinian man over alleged shooting that killed a Zionist and wounded two others in the occupied West Bank last May.
Montaser Shalabi was indicted in a military court over the alleged attack near the city of Nablus.
After an appeal in a court by Shalabi’s family against the demolition was unsuccessful, the military said, the two-storey villa in Turmus’ayya, a village in which many Palestinian Americans live, was leveled on Thursday.
Palestinians and rights groups condemn the policy as collective punishment.
Shalabi’s wife, Sanaa, who lived with three of their children in the home in Turmus’ayya, said she spoke with her husband by telephone on Thursday. She described him as a “resister” and resolved to rebuild the house.
“They want to demoralize us, but we are steadfast. This is the situation of the entire Palestinian people,” she said.