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UN slams Israel’s illegal settlement activities in occupied territories

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Palestinian protester throws a bottle filled with paint at an Israeli army bulldozer during clashes following a demonstration against the appropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on August 21, 2015. (AFP)

The United Nations has expressed concerns over Israel’s illegal settlement activities, settler violence, and continued destruction of Palestinian homes.

“We continue to witness illegal settlement activities and settler-related violence. Demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures have continued, including punitive demolitions,” said UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson during a special meeting of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on Monday.

Speaking on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Eliasson warned Israeli authorities that the use of excessive force only further angers and frustrates the Palestinians, calling on them to use maximum restraint, especially in relation to lethal force against Palestinians.

“It is abundantly clear that Palestinians feel deep frustration over an occupation that has lasted nearly 50 years,” he noted.

Palestinian protesters throw stones at an Israeli army bulldozer during clashes following a demonstration against the appropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on March 20, 2015. (AFP) 

Eliasson also stressed that security and hope in Gaza and in occupied West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem), is at a “very low point.”

“Simply put, the Palestinian people have waited too long,” he said.

The Israeli regime routinely orders the demolition of the houses of those Palestinians whom it accuses of being involved in attacks against Israelis.

The destruction of Palestinian homes and buildings comes as the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying entity from destroying private property or forcibly transferring the region's population.

The demolition of Palestinian homes come hand in hand with Tel Aviv's policy of construction of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis currently reside in more than 120 illegal settlements constructed since the regime’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967. The settlements are considered illegal by most of the international community.

Israeli settlers have in recent years carried out various attacks, including arson attacks, and daubed graffiti on Palestinian property in the West Bank and al-Quds.

Eliasson’s remarks came amid escalating tensions between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The fresh wave of unrest was triggered by Israel’s imposition of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds in August.

More than 90 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Israelis since the beginning of October.


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