UN committee says "climate of impunity" a driver of violence in OPT

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Session of the Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

Israel's settlement expansion and the "climate of impunity" for Jewish settlers are the "root cause" of the escalating violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

That's the assessment of a UN special committee which examines the human rights situation in the occupied Syrian Golan; the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

The committee recently concluded its annual fact-finding mission where members met with civil society groups and Palestinian officials in Amman, Jordan.

Dianne Penn reports.

In a statement on Monday, the UN special committee reported that it had been briefed on legislative measures that either were adopted or are under discussion in Israel.

This included a bill to allow force feeding of prisoners on a hunger strike.

Civil society groups also expressed alarm over the escalating violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

They cited the deaths of a toddler and his father stemming from the firebombing of their home in late July.

"It was apparent from the testimonies that the root cause of the escalating violence is the continuing policy of settlement expansion and the climate of impunity relating to the activities of the settlers," according to the statement.

The UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories will submit a report to the UN General Assembly in November.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 58″

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