Amnesty: Israel settlement ‘amounts to war crimes’

Amnesty International stressed yesterday that Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem “breaches international law and amounts to war crimes.”

On its official website, Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philippe Nassif, said: “Today, the United States government announced to the rest of the world that it believes the US and Israel are above the law: that Israel can continue to violate international law and Palestinians’ human rights and the US will firmly support it in doing so.

“Today’s announcement does not and will not change the law which is crystal clear: the construction and maintenance of settlements in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, breaches international law and amounts to war crimes.”

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“It does, however, place the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, at increased risk by giving Israel the green light to continue with its settlement building and expansion policy which sit at the heart of human rights crisis in the area.”

“The US announcement not only goes against the international consensus on the illegality of Israeli settlements but also goes against the US’s legal obligation to respect and ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions.”

Phillippe concluded: “We are unafraid to say clearly and without ambiguity: no US announcement can change the law and we will continue to work hard to ensure that international law and human rights are respected, protected and those perpetrating violations will be held to account.”

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