Possible Israel war crimes in East Jerusalem land right case: UN

The United Nations urged Israel on Friday to call off any forced evictions in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem warning its actions could amount to “war crimes”.

“We call on Israel to immediately call off all forced evictions,” UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.

“We wish to emphasise that East Jerusalem remains part of the occupied Palestinian territory, in which international humanitarian law applies,” Colville said. “The occupying power … cannot confiscate private property in occupied territory.”

Transferring civilian populations into occupied territory is illegal under international law and “may amount to war crimes”, he added.

Colville’s comments came after 15 Palestinians were arrested in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem overnight after protests over an eviction threat against four Palestinian families.

The second straight night of arrests in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood was fuelled by a years-long land dispute between Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlers in the strategic district near Jerusalem’s Old City.

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