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UN: Israeli occupation, discrimination against Palestinians fuel cycles of violence

A Palestinian woman argues with an Israeli policeman in the occupied West Bank. (file photo)

A high-level team of United Nations investigators has said the Israeli regime's occupation and discrimination against Palestinians are the main causes of the endless cycles of violence across the occupied territories.

The team, appointed last year by the United Nations Human Rights Council to probe "all underlying root causes" of the decades-long conflict, put the blame squarely on the Tel Aviv regime in its 18-page report released on Tuesday.

"Ending the occupation of lands by Israel... remains essential in ending the persistent cycles of violence," the UN investigators said in the report, decrying evidence that Israel has "no intention" of doing so.

The report mainly focuses on evaluating a long line of past investigations, reports, and rulings on the situation, and how and if those findings were implemented.

Lead investigator Navi Pillay, a former UN rights chief from South Africa, said in a statement that findings and recommendations relevant to the underlying root causes in previous reports were "overwhelmingly directed towards Israel.”

This, as Pillay said, was "an indicator of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the reality of one state occupying the other."

The investigators also determined that those recommendations "have overwhelmingly not been implemented," she hastened to add, pointing to calls to ensure accountability for Israel's violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

"It is this lack of implementation coupled with a sense of impunity, clear evidence that Israel has no intention of ending the occupation, and the persistent discrimination against Palestinians that lies at the heart of the systematic recurrence of violations in both the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including al-Quds, and Israel,” the official said.

Israel has refused to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry (COI) constituted last year following the 11-day war on the besieged Gaza Strip, also known as the Sword of al-Quds Battle.

In Israel’s bombing campaign on the coastal enclave, at least 260 Palestinians, including over 60 children, were killed in 11 days that began on May 10.

The Gaza-based resistance movements retaliated strongly, prompting the regime to announce a ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, which came into force in the early hours of May 21.

Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis occupy over 250 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East al-Quds as its capital.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied Palestinian land.

The UN Security Council has time and again condemned the occupying regime’s diabolic settler-colonialism project in its umpteen resolutions.

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