Monday, June 4, 2007

Amnesty International: No security without basic rights

Report, Amnesty International, 4 June 2007

"On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Amnesty International today called on the Israeli authorities to end the land-grabbing, blockades and other violations of international law carried out under the occupation. These have resulted in widespread human rights abuses and have also failed to bring security to the Israeli and Palestinian civilian populations.

A 45-page report published today, Enduring Occupation: Palestinians under siege in the West Bank, illustrates the devastating impact of four decades of Israeli military occupation. The report documents the relentless expansion of unlawful settlements on occupied land that deprives the Palestinian population of crucial resources and documents 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.

"Palestinians living in the West Bank are blocked at every turn. This is not simply an inconvenience -- it can be a matter of life or death. It is unacceptable that women in labour, sick children, or victims of accidents on their way to hospital should be forced to take long detours and face delays which can cost them their lives," said Malcolm Smart, Director for Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme......"

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