Israel is taking unilateral measures to institutionalize and perpetuate a new factual and legal reality of separation between residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while severing the interdependent social, economic and cultural ties between the two groups,1 infringing their rights and impeding the possibility that the Palestinian people will realize their right to self determination.
According to the report, the number of Israelis and Palestinians killed in clashes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip dropped. However, there has been deterioration in many other measures of the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories.
Since the beginning of the second intifada, in September 2000, Israel has imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank that are unprecedented in scope and time. As a result, the fundamental right of West Bank Palestinians to freedom of movement, their exercise of which was limited in any event, has become a privilege that Israel extends to them as it deems fit. Indeed, Palestinian travel in the West Bank is now an exception, which must be justified to the Israeli authorities, and almost every trip entails uncertainty, friction with soldiers, much waiting, and often great expense.
Israel's policy of segregation in the center of Hebron led to the closing of at least 1,014 commercial establishments during the Intifada. At least 659 Palestinian families had to leave their homes. These are the finding of a new report issued today by B'Tselem and The Association for civil rights in Israel.
Despite the so-called “disengagement” in August 2005 and the recent internal violence, the Gaza Strip remains subject to Israeli control. This publication surveys the
various spheres of Israeli control in the Gaza Strip, and the implications
of this control. So long as Israel retains extensive control over Gaza, it cannot disengage from its responsibility.
The ISA routinely maltreats Palestinian detainees during interrogations and in some cases even tortures them. This is one of the findings of the report issued today by B'Tselem and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual.
The report is a unique study on the infringement of the human rights of the tens of thousands of Palestinian workers staying in Israel without a permit.
The report shows that most residents of the Gaza Strip continue to be cut off from electricity half of every day, with wide-ranging, adverse affects.
The report details Israel's severe restrictions on family visits with Palestinian prisoners. Israel holds the prisoners inside its territory, in violation of international humanitarian law. Israel's visitation policy violates the right of thousands of families to visit their imprisoned relatives.
The report focuses attention on the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians affected by the freeze on family unification that prevents Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza from living together with their spouses who are foreign residents, in the report Perpetual Limbo.
The report deals with the route of the separation barrier showing that the route was based on considerations relating to settlement expansion and control of land, and not on security reasons, as the government has continuously claimed.
For the past five years, Israel has been trying to expel some one thousand Palestinians who have maintained the way of life of their ancestors in the southern Hebron hills.
The report raises the strong suspicion that during the past year the military engaged in assassinations in the guise of arrest operations.
For the past four and a half years, Israel has severely restricted freedom of movement to and from the Gaza Strip. These restrictions further strangled the Gaza Strip, so much so that the area resembles one gigantic prison. The report warns against Israel's attempt to avoid its responsibility toward residents of the Gaza Strip following disengagement.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.