Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations published a report, on Friday, by Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, welcomed the newly released settlement database.

Lynk stated that “While the release of the database will not, by itself, bring an end to the illegal settlements and their serious impact upon human rights, it does signal that sustained defiance by an occupying power will not go unanswered,” describing the move as an “important initial step towards accountability and the end to [Israeli] impunity.”

All 240 Israeli settlements are a “significant source of human rights violations against the protected Palestinian population in the occupied territory,” Lynk said, adding that “thousands of hectares of Palestinian land have been expropriated, thousands of Palestinian homes have been destroyed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been displaced, and natural resources confiscated.”

Lynk concluded, saying “Given the designation of civilian settlements in occupied territory as a war crime under the 1998 Rome Statute, it is imperative that states accept their international legal responsibilities and end all trade with these sources of human rights violations.”