UN official calls settlement construction “ethnic cleansing” 22Mar11 March 23, 2011

The Palestinian Information Centre -  22 March 2011

Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian occupied territories, warned that Israel’s settlement activities and the eviction of Palestinians from their homes are aimed at “ethnic cleansing”.

Falk stated  while speaking at the UN Human Rights Council that Israel took recent steps to irreversibly change the population components of East Jerusalem.

The “continued pattern of settlement expansion in east Jerusalem combined with the forcible eviction of long-residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation,” he said, adding that the situation “can only be described in its cumulative impact as a form of ethnic cleansing.”

He detailed that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) have destroyed 96 Palestinian structures since the beginning of 2011 in the West Bank and Jerusalem, ejecting more than 175 people from their homes, most of them children.

He said the number marks a significant hike compared to the same time frame in the previous year.

Falk also accused the Israeli government of backing ”illegal settler attacks”, which he said suggests the use of ”institutionalized and systematic discrimination” against Palestinians.


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