Middle East Monitor / March 30,
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has told the Human Rights Council that Jewish settlement expansion is linked to Jewish settler attacks against Palestinians over the past decade. Volker Turk noted that the UN has verified 3,372 incidents of settler violence that injured 1,222 Palestinians.
Turk presented his findings in a report to the council on Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, as well as the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
He pointed out that the number of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has increased from 520,000 to more than 700,000 over the past decade. They live in 279 settlements, including fourteen in occupied East Jerusalem. Just under 150 of these settlements are illegal under Israeli law. All of Israel’s settlements are classed as a war crime and are thus illegal under international law.
According to the report, Israel has failed to investigate and prosecute violent crimes committed by Jewish settlers and Israeli security forces against Palestinians. It added that the current Israeli plan to double the number of settlers in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights by 2027, and to increase the number of settlements from 34 to 36, is unprecedented.
After the report was presented to the UN body, 47 countries condemned the Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory and Syria as well as the policy of occupation, especially in light of Israel’s current far-right government and its decision to make some so-called settlement outposts legal under Israeli law.