- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2013

A panel of U.N. investigators led by a French judge found Israel guilty of violating Palestinians’ human rights with “creeping annexation” into disputed territories in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The report, a 47-page document that goes next to the Human Rights Council for review, says the settlements destroy Palestinians’ crops and property, and subject them to violence, the BBC reported.

While the panel was headed by French judge Christine Chanet, another member hailed from Pakistan, according to The Associated Press.

Ms. Chanet said Israel did not cooperate with the investigation, which came at the request of the Human Rights Council more than a year ago, the AP reported. Ms. Chanet further said at a news conference that Palestinians could used the report as “a kind of weapon” for grievances to the International Criminal Court.

Israel has stated it would not give in to international demands to halt its settlements of the contested areas, including the E-1 area — located between Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In December, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced again its plans to build 3,000 homes in the E-1 area, over the protests of ambassadors from the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark and Sweden — and a day after the United Nations voted to give Palestinians an upgraded observer status at the global body, according to BBC.