Occupied Palestine (The Inside Palestine)- UN investigators have blamed Israel’s continued occupation and discrimination against Palestinians for the endless cycles of violence in the decades-long conflict, prompting angry Israeli protests.
A high-level team of investigators, appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to probe “all underlying root causes” in the drawn-out Israel-Palestine conflict, pointed the finger squarely at Israel on Tuesday.
“Ending the occupation of lands by Israel…remains essential in ending the persistent cycles of violence”, the report said.
The 18-page report mainly focuses on evaluating a long line of past UN investigations, reports and rulings on the situation and how and if those findings were implemented.
“The findings and recommendations relevant to the underlying root causes were overwhelmingly directed towards Israel, which we have taken as an indicator of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the reality of one state occupying the other,” lead investigator Navi Pillay, a former UN rights chief from South Africa, said in a statement.
“What has become a situation of perpetual occupation was cited by Palestinian and Israeli stakeholders to the commission as the one common issue” that amounts to the “underlying root cause” of recurrent tensions, instability and protracted conflict, the authors wrote. They said “impunity” for perpetrators of violence was feeding resentment among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Gaza and occupied East Jerusalem.
The report’s authors cited “credible” evidence that “convincingly indicates that Israel has no intention of ending the occupation” and has plans to ensure complete control of Palestine. Israel’s government, it added, has been “acting to alter the demography through the maintenance of a repressive environment for Palestinians and a favourable environment for Israeli settlers.”
Israel has refused to co-operate with the Commission of Inquiry (COI) created last year following the 11-day Israeli aggression on Gaza in May 2021, which killed 260 Palestinians and 13 people on the Israeli side.
The first UN report to examine ‘root causes’
The COI, which is the highest-level investigation that can be ordered by the UN Human Rights Council, was tasked with looking beyond that surge in violence.
It was tasked with investigating all violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including occupied East Jerusalem.
The council had previously ordered eight investigations into rights violations in the Palestinian territories, but this was the first open-ended probe and the first to examine “root causes” in the drawn-out conflict under Israel’s over 70 years of occupation. It was also the first tasked with looking at systematic abuses committed within Israel.
Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs called the report “a waste of money and effort” that amounted to a witch hunt.
Israel captured the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem from Jordan, and Gaza from Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War.
It has annexed occupied East Jerusalem and claims the area — home to the city’s most important holy sites — as part of its capital. It considers the occupied West Bank to be “disputed” territory and has built scores of illegal Jewish settlements there. Over 700,000 Israeli settlers now live in the two areas.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies