UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein has described Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem as "war crimes", Quds Press reported yesterday.
According to local media, Al-Hussein's warnings would be part of a report he is to introduce to the UN Human Rights Council on 19 March.
"The establishment and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by Israel, including the legal and administrative measures that it has taken to provide socioeconomic incentives, security, infrastructure and social services to citizens of Israel residing in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, amount to the transfer by Israel of its population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which is prohibited under international humanitarian law. The transfer of the population by an occupying State into an occupied territory is a grave breach of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and therefore a war crime," the UN official wrote in his report.
According to Israeli news sites, next week's report is the first of six which will highlight Israel's ongoing occupation.
One of these reports accuses Israel of human rights violations in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and another concentrates on the Israeli violations in the Golan Heights.