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UN Rights Experts Slam Israeli Plan to Annex Palestinian Territory


Asharq Al-Awsat


UN human rights experts said on Tuesday that Israel's plan to annex significant parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank would violate international law.
The experts said taking territory by force must be banned and called on other countries to oppose this move.
The joint statement, signed by nearly 50 independent experts, also expressed dismay at US support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to extend sovereignty, de facto annexation of land that the Palestinians seek for a state, calling the plan as "unlawful."
"The annexation of occupied territory is a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions, and contrary to the fundamental rule affirmed many times by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly that the acquisition of territory by war or force is inadmissible," it said.
What would be left of the West Bank after annexation of about 30% would amount to a "Palestinian Bantustan", it said, Reuters reported.
There was no immediate reaction from the Israel's government which has set July 1 as the date to begin advancing the plan to annex settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.
"The United Nations has stated on many occasions that the 53-year-old Israeli occupation is the source of profound human rights violations against the Palestinian people," the experts' statement said.
Violations have included land confiscation, settler violence, home demolitions, excessive use of force and torture, restrictions on the media and freedom of expression, and "a two-tier system of disparate political, legal, social, cultural and economic rights based on ethnicity and nationality", it said.
"These human rights violations would only intensify after annexation," it added.

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