Michael Lynk, the UN’s human rights investigator, on Friday lashed at out Israel, saying that Jewish communities in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria amount to a “war crime”, while calling on countries to inflict a cost on Israel for its "illegal occupation".
Lynk, the UN “special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory”, made the comments during a session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and was quoted by Reuters.
"In my report, I conclude that the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime," Lynk was quoted by the news agency as having said.
Lynk added that “settlements” violate an absolute ban on an occupying power transferring part of its civilian population into an occupied territory, thereby meeting the definition of a war crime under the Rome Statute founding the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Israel's mission to the UN in Geneva, in a statement to Reuters, rejected Lynk's report as "the latest one-sided and biased report against Israel" and accused him of turning a blind eye to violations committed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza.
Two years ago, Lynk called for an international ban on all products made in “Israeli settlements”.
Before that, Lynk called for sanctions to be placed on Israel, saying that “Israel is very dependent on trade with the outside world... If there was an understanding that all of a sudden Israelis wanted to travel abroad needed to have visas, if there was an understanding that Israel wasn’t going to get preferential trading agreements with the EU, if all of a sudden, the many and multitude forms of military, economic or academic cooperation with Israel were now going to come to an end… I think you’d begin to see a sea-change in the attitude of ordinary Israelis and the Israeli government. But that has to happen. Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This might be the first step that we have to start taking.”
The UNHRC is notorious for its longstanding bias against Israel. Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the UNHRC in 2018 due to this.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)