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Friday, October 28, 2016
Amnesty International asks Israel to observe basic human rights of Palestinians
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¬†On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Amnesty International has released a new report, Enduring Occupation: Palestinians Under Siege in the West Bank, calling on the Israeli authorities to end the blockades, land-grabbing, and other violations of international law carried out under the occupation. These actions have caused widespread human rights abuses and failed to bring security to the civilian populations. The report illustrates the devastating impact of four decades of Israeli military occupation and documents the relentless expansion of unlawful settlements on occupied land. Case studies show a plethora of measures that confine Palestinians to fragmented enclaves and hinder their access to work, health and education facilities. These measures include a 700km fence/wall, more than 500 checkpoints and blockades, and a complicated system of permits. "It is imperative that Palestinians be allowed to provide for themselves and their families," said Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director. "Lives are at stake if mothers-to-be, ailing boys and girls and older men and women in fragile health cannot receive medical help because of delays at the border or lengthy alternative routes. "The international community has effectively neglected to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian situation in the last forty years. Human rights abuses are committed every day. Such actions help increase resentment and hopelessness among a young and progressively more radicalized Palestinian population." Amnesty International is calling for the urgent deployment of an effective international human rights monitoring method to monitor compliance by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities with their obligations under international law. This must be backed up with a commitment to investigate and prosecute, through the exercise of universal jurisdiction, those who commit war crimes or other crimes under international law. "International action is urgently needed to address the widespread human rights abuses being committed by all parties to the conflict," said Marty Rosenbluth, Amnesty International USA country specialist for Israel and the Occupied Territories. "The international community cannot close its eyes to the plight of all civilians in the area ≠ both Israelis and Palestinians ≠ since they are all being affected." In its report, Amnesty International acknowledges Israel's legitimate security concerns and the government's obligation to protect the population within its borders, but says this does not justify blatant violations of international law, such as construction of much of the fence/wall inside the West Bank on Palestinian land. To prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from entering Israel, the barrier should be located on the Green Line, the border between Israel and the West Bank. However the organization states that most of the barrier is actually being built on Palestinian land, in defiance of the International Court of Justice, and is separating Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank. In addition to the wall, the movement of Palestinians is severely constrained by a host of other restrictions, including over 500 checkpoints and blockades, and a network of roads for Israeli settlers to use which is off-limits to Palestinians. The barrier, together with these roads and roadblocks, benefit continuously expanding but unlawful Israeli settlements and make them territorially contiguous with Israel. Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities to lift the regime of blockades and restrictions on Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, halt the construction of the fence/wall inside the West Bank and remove the sections already built there, cease the expansion of Israeli settlements and cancel all demolition orders on Palestinian homes. Amnesty International is also reiterating its call on Palestinian armed groups to end immediately attacks on civilians and on the Palestinian Authority to take effective action to stop and prevent such attacks and bring to justice those responsible. "Because of the current conditions imposed by the Israeli government, the Palestinian economy is in shambles resulting in greater degrees of poverty, food insecurity and desperation among the Palestinian population," said Cox. "The global community must work towards a comprehensive resolution to this Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Otherwise, the cycle of hate continues and innocent people on all sides continue to die." Source: AI
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