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UN expert accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

Human Rights Council expert Richard Falk condemned Israel's practices on occupied Palestinian lands, accusing it of complicity in "racial segregation" and "ethnic cleansing".


In a press conference held in Geneva Saturday, Falk deplored the fact that the reality on the ground is worsening, both from the perspective of Palestinians and international law.

Falk accused Israel of "systematic and continues efforts" to change the ethnic composition of Eastern Jerusalem, and excessive use of force, collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza, demolishing houses and building more settlements.

Falk added that Israel is involved in systematic discrimination on the basis of ethnic identity with the purpose of changing Jerusalem's demography. Such practices qualify as ethnic cleansing, he said.

Moreover, Falk pointed out that what had been known as "occupation" is currently labelled as "annexation" based on racial segregation criteria. He accused Israel of adopting double standard policies based on discriminatory laws.

Falk's tenure will end within few days, after six years of struggle against Israel and its supporters, particularly the US and Canada. Falk had previously called on the International Court of Justice to review the legitimacy of Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967."

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