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U.N. names experts to probe Israeli settlements

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West Bank settlementThe United Nations named French judge Christine Chanet on Friday as the leader of a team of three experts who will investigate whether Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories violate human rights law.

The other team members are Pakistani lawyer Asma Jahangir and Botswana judge Unity Dow. Jahangir has been the subject of human rights cases in the past, having been put under house arrest in 1983 and warned of a plot to assassinate her last month.

The U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) launched the probe in March under an initiative brought to the 47-member forum by the Palestinian Authority. Israel's ally the United States was the only member to vote against it.

The council said Israel's planned construction of new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem undermined the peace process and posed a threat to the two-state solution and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Israel on Friday condemned the investigation. "The establishment of this mission is another blatant expression of the singling out of Israel in the UNHRC," a Foreign Ministry statement said.


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