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?"
Diplomatic ties between Israel and India have warmed considerably since the election of Narendra Modi in April.
Modi is facing a backlash for not doing enough to rein in hardline affiliate groups that have become emboldened in their pursuit of a Hindu-dominant agenda
The changes include "unequivocal clarifications regarding East Jerusalem being the capital of the State of Palestine, as it is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories."
Eleven people injured in Dijon, eastern France; 40-year-old assailant detained in psychiatric hospital.
The bill requires overseas NGOs to register with, and be approved by, authorities if they want to set up representative offices or operate temporarily
Princess Cristina, 49, and Urdangarin are among 17 people ordered to stand trial in the case involving his Noos Foundation charity
Cansuyu Association has opened up a kindergarten school for 135 Gazan orphans, providing a lifeline to the children afflicted by the war.
Her lawyers argued that the case was "frivolous" and their client was effectively being swept up in the public anger surrounding the café siege, in which she did not take part
Britain could be forced to pay Turkish workers full EU rights, paper reports
Anti-Islamic slogans and a swastika was painted on a wall of mosque that was being constructed.
Foreign Minister calls Kerry and says that they are against all forms of cyber attacks and cyber terrorism
"New chapter" between the U.S. and Cuba is closely monitored by the countries of the region, and experts argue an open relationship will help to solve human rights issues in Cuba and contribute economically to the region.
Zimbabwe's political analysts are in deep search for the reasons why the President is in such a hurry to make crucial decisions.
A substantial majority of Switzerland's population is in favor of a ban on burqa, a garment worn by Muslim women, in public areas, according to Swiss media.
If realized, the E1 plan, which aims to build new Jewish settlements on an area of 12,000 dunams, will link the Jewish settlements of Maale Adumim, Mishor Adumim and Kfar Adumim in the occupied West Bank to East Jerusalem
Demonstrators hit the streets in angry response, protesting against ruthless and aggressive police tactics.