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Itamar settlement hilltop 311 R.(Photo by: Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters)
UNHRC settlement probe team to be named soon
Israel already announced it does not plan to cooperate with such a mission, which it sees as attempt by council to delegitimize state.
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 Friday.

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 international law.

“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 negotiating table.”

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.
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