Friday, April 6, 2012

Israel: Palestinians Cut Off From Farmlands

A Year After Court Ruling, a Worsening Situation

Human Rights Watch
April 5, 2012

"(Jerusalem) – A court ruling upholding a military permit system has had the result that a year later West Bank Palestinians in one affected area are virtually unable to work on their farmlands, Human Rights Watch said today, on the anniversary of the High Court of Justice ruling.

The system, which requires Palestinians to obtain special military permits to access their lands on the “Israeli” side of the separation barrier in the West Bank, in effect treats all Palestinians living in or seeking to access farmlands in these areas as though they were security threats, and imposes unnecessarily severe restrictions on their access, harming their livelihoods, Human Rights Watch said. Such a system violates the requirement under international law that security measures must be narrowly tailored to the threat that they aim to meet.

“The permit system needlessly prevents Palestinians from working their own farmlands,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Israel’s highest court upheld a system that applies a broad brush to isolate Palestinians from their lands without a narrowly tailored security rationale as should be legally required.”...."

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