World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations named French judge Christine Chanet on Friday as the leader of a team of three experts who will investigate whether Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories violate human rights law.
International Court of Justice, the highest U.N. legal body for disputes, ruled Israel settlements are illegal on occupied territories. Israel placed about 500,000 settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem where 2.5 million Palestinians live.
The other team members are Pakistani lawyer Asma Jahangir and Botswana judge Unity Dow.
The U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) launched the probe in March under an initiative brought to the 47-member forum by the Palestinian Authority. Israel's ally the United States was the only member to vote against it.
The council said Israel's planned construction of new housing units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem undermined the peace process and posed a threat to the two-state solution and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Israel refuses cooperation
Israel on Friday vowed to halt probe. "This fact-finding mission will find no co-operation in Israel, and its members will not be allowed to enter Israel and the Territories," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
The council's president, Uruguay's ambassador Laura Dupuy Lasserre, announced the names of the investigators after holding consultations among member states, diplomats said.
On Monday Richard Falk, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian Territories, told a news conference that the acceleration of settlement building had "closed the book" on the feasibility of a two-state solution.
"The Palestinian position gets weaker and weaker through time and the Israelis get more and more of a fait accompli through their unlawful activities," he said.
"Is it just a delaying tactic that allows the Israelis to expand the settlements, expand the settled population, demolish more and more Palestinian homes and structures and engage in a programme that has assumed such proportions that the language of ethnic cleansing is the only way to describe the demographic changes in East Jerusalem?"
Judges at the International Criminal Court have ruled that former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is fit to stand trial for his alleged involvement in deadly post-election violence in his country.
Authorities in France have used state of emergency powers to place 24 activists under house arrest as France continues its ban on public demonstrations ahead of the scheduled climate talks.
A 24-year-old arms dealer is suspected of delivering weapons used in terrorist attacks in Paris
Suicide bomber attacks procession of Shia Muslims in northwestern part of Nigeria
Ambassadors of numerous countries, UN and African Union officials as well as Ethiopian government representatives attended flag-raising ceremony in Addis Ababa
Turkish Energy experts have said that Russian claims that Turkey was operating on an oil delivery to Turkey before it was downed, are ridiculuous
The Burkina Faso election is scheduled for this upcoming Sunday
Two suspects were taken into custody in connection with Mali hotel attack that killed 19 people
British PM pledges £1 million ($1.5 million, 1.4 million euros) a year over five years to establish and support a new Commonwealth counter-extremism unit
Russia has decided to suspend visa-free regime with Turkey starting from January 1, 2016
President Hollande vows to crush 'army of fanatics' with more 'songs, concerts and shows'
'At the moment, unfortunately, our partners are not ready to work within the format of single coalition,' Putin's spokesman says
The clashes took place between Rwandan rebels and a local Mai-Mai militia
Russian president says they will work with regional countries not to target 'moderate opposition' groups
French foreign minister suggests possible cooperation with Syrian regime forces against ISIL
Two presidents agreed to 'exchange information about which territories are occupied by the healthy part of the opposition rather than terrorists, and will avoid targeting them with our airstrikes'