On Friday, March 25, The United Nations announced that the number of settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased by 23 percent since 2014.
Michael Lynk, The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, stated that, “the number of settlers in the West Bank reached about 370,000 in 2014.”
In a session during the 49th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Lynk explained that the number of settlers has now increased by 23 percent reaching 480,000, adding that the total number of settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories amounted to 710 thousand.
Lynk said that “Israel’s occupation of Palestine amounts to apartheid (the apartheid regime in South Africa).”
Lynk added that “Israel” continues, before the international community, to impose a policy of racial discrimination against Palestine in a world where apartheid has ended.
He stressed that “the expansion of settlement construction continues to fuel violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, perpetuates the occupation, and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the possibility of establishing an independent, viable and geographically connected state.”
He pointed out that “670,000 Israeli citizens currently live in more than 130 illegal settlements and more than 100 outposts in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
The settlers have recently increased their attacks on Palestinian civilians, their lands, homes and farms.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in 2020, a total of 358 attacks were recorded while in 2021, there were 496 attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, (370 resulting in property damage and 126 resulting in injuries).
The UN Security Council and United Nations General Assembly resolutions confirm that the Israeli settlements built on the occupied Palestinian lands are “illegal, unethical, and amounts to a war crime.”