Bedouin children of the Jahalin tribe near the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, June 16, 2012.
Bedouin children of the Jahalin tribe near the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim (seen in the background), June 16, 2012. Photo by Reuters
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The UN’s top human rights body has appointed three independent experts to conduct a fact-finding mission on how Israel’s West Bank settlements affect Palestinians.

The president of the UN Human Rights Council, Uruguay Ambassador Laura Dupuy Lasserre, on Friday named three women to the panel: Christine Chanet of France, Unity Dow of Botswana and Asma Jahangir of Pakistan.

Dupuy Lasserre said their mission will be to look how the Israeli settlements impact “the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people.”

The Geneva-based 47-nation council passed a resolution in March to establish such a probe.

The UN already considers Israeli settlements illegal under international law.

Some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories Israel took control of during the Six-Day War in 1967, along with the Gaza Strip.