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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid