The Palestinian Authority formally joined five international human rights treaties, the United Nations told the AFP news agency on Friday.

A spokesman for the UN human rights office told members of the press on Friday that the treaties banned torture and racial discrimination. The Palestinians also joined treaties promoting women’s rights, children’s rights, and the rights of the disabled.

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Later this week, the Palestinians are also expected to gain formal entry into a treaty which protects children in conflict zones. In July, it is expected to ratify two agreements governing civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, AFP reported.

"This accession to seven core human rights treaties and a key protocol is a significant step towards enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights in Palestine," the UN spokesperson said.

Last months, the Palestinians scuttled an anticipated prisoner release – which was said to have included American spy Jonathan Pollard – by unilaterally joining 15 international treaties, a move that Ramallah said was in response to the Israeli government’s refusal to follow through on its pledge to release the fourth batch of convicted terrorists incarcerated in Israeli jails.

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