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Israeli settlements in West Bank called illegal by UN panel

GENEVA — Israel has pursued a creeping annexation of the Palestinian territories through the creation of Jewish settlements and committed multiple violations of international law, possibly including war crimes, a United Nations panel said Thursday, calling for an immediate halt to all settlement activity and the withdrawal of all settlers.

Presenting their findings in Geneva after a nearly six-month inquiry for the UN Human Rights Council, a panel of three judges, led by Christine Chanet of France, said Israel’s settlements had clearly violated the Geneva Conventions.

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