- uploaded: Feb 2, 2013
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The UN Human Rights Council says that Israel is violating the Geneva Convention and must withdraw its settlements from the West Bank.
In an unprecedented move, Israel has announced a boycott of the United Nations Human Rights Council, citing bias in the Geneva-based body's review of Israeli settlement activity.
Human rights investigators from the United Nations on Thursday said that Israeli settlements in the West bank violates international law.
The report by the UN Human Rights Council said that Israel must halt expansion and withdraw its settlers from the area.
French judge Christine Chanet summarized the report in Geneva.
[Christine Chanet, French Judge of Mission]: (Female English)
"Our first recommendation in the line of the Secretary General's last report issued on November last year, Israel must, that's our first recommendation, must cease settlement activities and provide adequate, prompt and effective remedies to the victims of violation of human rights."
She said that Israel is violating the Fourth Geneva Convention. The 1949 treaties forbids the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territories, which could amount to war crimes under the juristiction of the International Criminal Court.
Israel responded to the report by saying that the Human Rights Council was biased in its approach towards Israel. It defended its settlements by citing historical and Biblical links to the area.
Jerusalem also announced that the UN fact-finding mission would not be allowed to enter Israel.
While the United States has said the Geneva-based committee was quote "too focused on Israel," the U.S. is urging Israel to rethink its stand and cooperate with the UN body.
Israel has suspended their working relations with UN Human Rights Council, the first time any UN-member state has done so.