Fri Dec 9, 2016 11:11AM
A picture taken on November 17, 2016 shows a general view of units in the settlement of Ofra in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. (Photo by AP)
A picture taken on November 17, 2016 shows a general view of units in the settlement of Ofra in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. (Photo by AP)
  • Embed

UN High Commissioner for Human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has slammed as illegal a recent Israeli bill to legalize some 4,000 settler units in the occupied West Bank. The UN official has urged the Israeli regime to ditch the bill, which is contrary to international law. The move has sparked huge anger inside the occupied territories, but members of the Israeli parliament on Wednesday voted to advance the bill.

Edward Corrigan, a human rights attorney from Ontario, has told Press TV that the United States was using its veto power to prevent the United Nations Security Council to sanction the apartheid regime of Israel.

“The problem is the power does lie with the Security Council and the United States has almost in every instance vetoed any sort of resolution that condemns Israel and of course would prevent the United Nations from taking any meaningful steps,” Corrigan said on Thursday night.

“The United States dictates and controls the Security Council, which would veto any sort of resolution, for example, for an embargo on Israel or to attack Israel for its hundreds of violations of the international law.”

The lawyer said the UN can issue statements and even have the human rights community make the rulings that Israel settlements are illegal "but unless there are some sort of real power to back that up, nothing is going to happen.”

Despite the fact that the United Nations and other international bodies have described the Israeli settlement activities as “illegal” but nothing has been done because of American all-out support for the Tel Aviv regime, he added. 

Corrigan touched on the hasty passage of the bill, saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to send a message to the upcoming US administration.

According to the lawyer, there are some elements in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet like General James Mattis who have said that the settlements "are bringing about apartheid.”

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital, but the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle to that goal.