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Ending Zionist occupation key to halting violence: UN

GENEVA: UN investigators on Tuesday blamed the Zionist entity’s continued occupation and discrimination against Palestinians for the endless cycles of violence in the decades-long conflict, prompting angry Zionist 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 Zionist-Palestinian conflict, pointed the finger squarely at the Zionist entity.

“Ending the occupation of lands by (the Zionist entity)…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 (the Zionist entity), 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.

“We also found that these recommendations have overwhelmingly not been implemented, including calls to ensure accountability for (the Zionist entity’s) violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and the indiscriminate firing of rockets…by Palestinian armed groups into (the Zionist entity),” she said.

“It is this lack of implementation coupled with a sense of impunity, clear evidence that (the Zionist entity) has no intention of ending the occupation, and the persistent discrimination against Palestinians that lies at the heart of the systematic recurrence of violations in both the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and (the Zionist entity).”

(The Zionist entity) has refused to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry (COI) created last year following the 11-day Gaza war in May 2021, which killed 260 Palestinians and 13 people on the Zionist side. 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 and to investigate all violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in (the Zionist entity) and the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

While the council had previously ordered eight investigations into rights violations in the Palestinian territories, this was the first open-ended probe, and the first to examine “root causes” in the drawn-out conflict. It was also the first tasked with looking at systematic abuses committed within the Zionist entity. The Zionist entity has slammed the creation of the investigation, and has also loudly criticized Pillay for “championing an anti-(Zionist) agenda”.

Zionist foreign ministry spokesman Lior Haiat told reporters in February that “the fact that she was appointed to this commission is actually a disgrace”. And on Tuesday, even before the report was published, dozens of Zionist reserve soldiers and students – some of them dressed like Palestinian Hamas militants – marched outside the UN building in Geneva in protest.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads the Zionist NGO Shurat Hadin that organized the protest, decried “a witch-hunt against (the Zionist entity)”. And she slammed the Human Rights Council, which will kick off its 50th session next week where the report will be presented, as “the most anti-Semitic body in the world”. – AFP

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