UNITED NATIONS (APP) - Reaffirming its support to the Palestinians' right to self-determination, Pakistan Friday asked Israel to stop building settlements on occupied territories and pave the way for peace in the Middle East. "Violation of human rights in the occupied territories is perpetuated by a culture of impunity. Ending this culture of impunity is important for building an environment of trust and confidence," Pakistani delegate Asad Majeed Khan told the General Assembly's Fourth Committee, which deals with special political decolonization matters. "The right to self-determination of the Palestinian People is a fundamental human right. Its denial and violation is at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict," he said during a debate on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. Khan, noting that the report was based on field visits and interviews with direct witnesses, said it reflected a common undercurrent of systemic human rights violations. He noted, in particular, settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, which were major provocations and violated international law, vitiated the atmosphere conducive for negotiations, and muted the voices of peace and compassion. The most disquieting aspect, the Pakistani delegate said, was the ongoing effort to remove traces of Palestinian heritage by altering the status of centuries-old cemeteries, mosques and churches. That was endemic in East Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem, and was being done to create new housing space or commission other buildings. He said East Jerusalem witnessed renewed settlement activity in certain neighbourhoods, and regrettably, violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinian neighbours was a corollary of settlement activity. Khan said that the second area of concern was the obstructed freedom of movement and the restrictions on the flow of commerce at a myriad of checkpoints, along with roadblocks and military siege. That generated unemployment and strangulated the local economy, particularly in Gaza. Similarly, the illegal separation wall gave permanence to a policy of blockade. The wall restricted access of Palestinian families to farms, water, health care and education. Another area of concern was deteriorating living conditions in the occupied Syrian Golan, caused by inequitable water distribution, discrimination against local workers and high rates of taxation, he said. Those measures were in direct contravention of Security Council resolution 497 (1981).