Itamar settlement hilltop 311 R.
(photo credit: Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters)
UN Human Rights Council President Laura Dupuy Lasserre plans to announce the
membership of a three-person fact-finding mission on West Bank settlements this
In March of this year, the UNHRC asked her to appoint the
fact-finding mission. A number of media reports have speculated that countries
such as the US pressured Lasserre not to name such a mission, out of fear that
it would harm attempts to restart frozen peace talks.
Israel has already
announced that it does not plan to cooperate with such a mission, which is seen
as one more attempt by the council to delegitimize Israel.
In a report
submitted to the council, which is holding its 20th session in Geneva this week,
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that settlements are contrary to
“I have many times urged Israel to cease all
settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, including east Jerusalem,” Ban
said. “Settlements undermine confidence, prejudge the outcome of the permanent
status negotiations and hamper efforts at bringing the parties back to the
His six-page report detailed recent Israel settlement
activity including Israel’s decision in April to transform three outposts —
Rehalim, Bruhin and Sansana – into legal settlements and its decision this month
to build 851 new homes in West Bank settlements.
Ban took note of failed
Israeli legislative attempts to legalize outposts. He also noted Israel’s
decision to relocate five apartment buildings in the Ulpana outpost on the
outskirts of Beit El, as well as its agreement to relocate the 50 families who
live in the Migron outpost.