News ID: 302840
Published: 0221 GMT May 07, 2021

UN: Israeli land grab in East Al-Quds could amount to war crimes

UN: Israeli land grab in East Al-Quds could amount to war crimes

European powers urge Israel to stop settlement expansion

The United Nations urged Israel on Friday to call off any forced evictions in Israeli-occupied East Al-Quds, warning that its actions could amount to war crimes.

"We call on Israel to immediately call off all forced evictions," UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva, AFP reported.

His comment came after 15 Palestinians were arrested in East Al-Quds overnight in clashes with Israeli forces over an eviction threat against four Palestinian families.

"We wish to emphasize that East Jerusalem (Al-Quds) remains part of the occupied Palestinian territory, in which international humanitarian law applies," Colville said.

"The occupying power... cannot confiscate private property in occupied territory," he said, adding that transferring civilian populations into occupied territory was illegal under international law and "may amount to war crimes".

Colville demanded that Israel halt actions that "further contribute to a coercive environment or leads to a risk of forcible transfer".

"We further call on Israel to respect freedom of expression on assembly, including with those who are protesting against the evictions, and to exercise maximum restraint in the use of force," he said.

Colville stressed that "Israel cannot impose its own set of laws in occupied territory".


European demand

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain in a joint statement urged Israel on Thursday to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

The European nations urged Israel to reverse its decision to advance the construction of 540 settlement units in the Har Homa E area of the occupied West Bank, and to cease its policy of settlement expansion across the occupied Palestinian territories, according to Reuters.

"If implemented, the decision to advance settlements in Har Homa, between East Jerusalem (Al-Quds) and Bethlehem, will cause further damage to the prospects for a viable Palestinian state," they underlined.

Israel captured East Al-Quds, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in a 1967 war. Palestinians want East Al-Quds as the capital of a future state and most countries regard settlements that Israel has built there as illegal.




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