Raquel Rolnik (L), United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, visits a Palestinian Kurd family, whose house was taken over by Jewish settlers in al-Quds's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, on January 30, 2012.
“From the Galilee [al-Jalil] and the Negev [al-Naqab] to east [al-Quds] Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities promote a territorial development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities, particularly affecting Palestinian communities, side by side with the accelerated development of predominantly Jewish settlements,” said Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, on Sunday.
Rolnik made the comments after finishing a tour of the occupied Palestinian territories in February.
She condemned Israeli policies, noting that they violate the fundamental rights of Palestinians and are against international law.
“As a whole, it is clear that Israeli policies and practices for the Palestinian population in east [al-Quds] Jerusalem and the West Bank violate international human rights and humanitarian law,” she added.
The UN representative also drew attention to the "dire conditions faced by the population" in the besieged Gaza Strip, saying that the all-out Israeli blockade has had “detrimental effects… on the housing situation and on infrastructure” in the costal enclave.
Israel occupied East al-Quds and the West Bank in 1967 and later annexed both territories. The international community has refused to recognize either move.
In September 2010, Israel resumed settlement construction in the occupied territories after a 10-month partial freeze, prompting the Palestinian Authority to break off direct talks with Tel Aviv.
Rolnik's remarks came as, according to a new report published by the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) organization on the same day, Israel has significantly increased human rights violations against the Palestinian residents in the West Bank city of al-Khalil.
The official's findings will be compiled into a final report due to be released in May 2013.