The UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories has said Israel’s policies there amount to a crime against humanity. Richard Falk’s statement came as UN human rights delegates urged Israel to take nearly 100 measures including ending its blockade of the Gaza Strip. He said the UN must act to protect the Palestinian population suffering what he called “collective punishment”. Israel says the blockade is a necessary security measure to stem rocket salvos. The UN Human Rights Council has spent two days reviewing Israel’s human rights record under a new mechanism called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), in which the Council scrutinises the records of all UN member states every four years.