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'Biased' UN settlement report hampers peace: Israel

Published on Jan 31, 2013 7:30 PM
Pakistan's Asma Jahangir (right) gestures next to Christine Chanet of France and Unity Dow of Botswana during a press conference on Jan 31, 2012, on the presentation of a report of a United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission on Israeli settlement in Palestinian territories at the UN offices in Geneva. -- PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel on Thursday slammed as "biased" a report by the UN Human Rights Council calling on the Jewish state to halt all settlement activity, saying it would only hamper peace efforts.

"The Human Rights Council has sadly distinguished itself by its systematically one-sided and biased approach towards Israel. This latest report is yet another unfortunate reminder of that," foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

The report, which was written by three independent experts, calls on Israel to immediately stop building on occupied Palestinian land and to start pulling out its Jewish settlers, who number more than 500,000.

"Israel must... cease all settlement activities without preconditions (and) must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers," they wrote, saying the settlements were causing Palestinian human rights to be "violated consistently and on a daily basis".

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