News / Middle East

UN Investigator Criticizes Israeli Settlements

A Palestinian woman stands next to an Israeli soldier during a protest against the expansion of a Jewish settlement near the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Friday, Oct. 22, 2010.
A Palestinian woman stands next to an Israeli soldier during a protest against the expansion of a Jewish settlement near the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Friday, Oct. 22, 2010.
Larry Freund

A special United Nations investigator says Israel's settlement policies have made a Palestinian state based on Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories a political impossibility.  

Richard Falk is the United Nations special investigator on human rights in the Palestinian territories.  He says Israel's expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, together with related Israeli policies, have made the vision of a Middle East peace based on the two-state consensus almost a political impossibility at this stage.  

Falk, a professor of international law at Princeton University in the United States and a past critic of Israeli policies, said "You have this disconnect between an inter-governmental peace process that appears to be premised on an illusion, the illusion that at the end of this process is an independent, sovereign Palestinian state."

The special United Nations rapporteur, or investigator, made his comments following the formal submission of his latest report, which criticizes Israel for what the report describes as Israel's encroachment on fundamental and inalienable international human rights standards.  

His comments also coincide with a report by the Israeli advocacy group Peace Now that Jewish settlers have started building more than 600 homes in West Bank settlements since Israel's partial construction freeze ended last month.

"The idea of a separate, second Palestinian state, which is the foundation of Security Council Resolution 242 - the withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory - and the basis of international negotiations seems increasingly problematic as a solution because it would require the substantial reversal of the settlement process and the political realities in Israel and among the settler population make that a non-viable possibility," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to renew the settlement freeze if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  The Palestinians have rejected the offer, but Mr. Netanyahu has repeated his demand that the Palestinians recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs