The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has called on the UN to send an international investigation team to Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to inspect their laboratories, Wafa reported on Tuesday.

Assistant Foreign Minister for UN and Specialised Agencies, Omar Awadallah, told participants at the conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons held in Geneva that Israel is the only party that refuses to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

He pointed out that Israel controls the crossings and borders in the occupied Palestinian territories, so the PA is unable to monitor and verify what kind of weapons Israel is developing in the laboratories in its illegal settlements. Such a situation, he said, could pose a grave threat to the lives of the Palestinian people.

Awadallah reminded participants that Israel has nuclear weapons and refuses to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit and monitor its nuclear facilities. He also accused Israel of using chemical weapons against the Palestinian people and alleged that illegal Israeli settlers have used chemicals to burn Palestinian families.

Infamously, Jewish settlers burnt the Dawabshe family to death in the West Bank village of Duma in July 2015. Moreover, settlers murdered 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir by burning him alive in Jerusalem in July 2014.

According to Israeli rights group Peace Now, there are 666,000 Israeli Jewish settlers living in 145 illegal settlements and 140 outposts in the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.