United States – On Friday, the U.N. Human Rights Office published a study that suggests the creation and progression of Israeli settlements in the Middle East can be equated with a war crime.

Unprecedented Surge

The report tackles the changing period from November 1, 2022, to October 31, 2023, when it talks about the number of housing units, which almost reached 24,300 in the just-built settlements of the West Bank. This is the most significant, highest number in a single year since they began to monitor these incidents in 2017. It criticizes a rise in the number of new houses being constructed in recent times, as reported by the Associated Press.

“The West Bank is already in crisis. Yet, settler violence and settlement-related violations have reached shocking new levels and risk eliminating any practical possibility of establishing a viable Palestinian state,” U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk said. He presented the report to the Human Rights Council on Friday.

Settlement Plans Challenged

In the reports this week where Israel is planning to construct over 3,500 settler houses in three locations, the status quo becomes contrary to international law according to him.

Türk went on saying that Israel, in addition to the usual expansion and construction of settlements, also transfers the bulk of its population into the areas it occupies, and this is seen as a war crime under the law, as it was stated in a statement by his office.

The spokesperson for the Israeli diplomatic mission in Geneva, on the other hand, was not available for immediate comment.

Context of Recent Developments

The majority of the international community treats the settlements in the occupied territories as incompatible with international law, as reported by the Associated Press.

Instances of West Bank expansion and hostility in recent months were primarily covered up by a wave of killings and expulsion in Gaza, where Israeli forces have settled the account of Palestinian blood with a hard-fought battle against the Hamas terrorist group after they killed people in Israel on October 7.


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