GAZA, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- A New York-based rights organization on Sunday called on Israel to withdraw settlements from the occupied West Bank, noting that the settlers flourish and the Palestinians suffer due to "discriminatory policies."|
In a 166-page report, Human Rights Watch reviewed what it called illegal discriminatory practices that deprived the Palestinians of necessities and provided "lavish amenities for Jewish settlements."
The report, "Separate and Unequal: Israel's Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, " examines Area C of the West Bank where Israel retains security and administrative control and East Jerusalem which was occupied and annexed in 1967.
Unlike their Jewish neighbors, the Palestinians are blocked from using roads and reaching their agriculture land that is also being seized, denied access to water, electricity and building permits for houses, schools and clinics. Israel also demolishes Palestinian houses and restricts infrastructure development, according to the report.
The "two-tier system" have limited the expansion of Palestinian villages and imposed severe hardships on the residents, the report added.
On the contrary, the Jewish settlements enjoy generous financial benefits and infrastructure support to promote life there.
"While Israeli policy makers are fighting for the 'natural growth' of their illegal settlements, they're strangling historic Palestinian communities," said Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations at Human Rights Watch.
"Palestinian children in the areas under Israeli control are studying by candlelight while watching the electric lights in settlers' windows," Bogert added.
Since 2000 until June 2009, a study had found out that the Israeli discriminatory policies had displaced some 31 percent of Palestinian population in Area C, which makes 60 percent of the West Bank.
"It's time for Israel to end its policies of discrimination and stop treating Palestinians under its control markedly worse than Jews in the same area," according to Bogert.
The report calls on the United States, the European Union and business with operations in settlements "to avoid supporting Israeli settlement policies that are inherently discriminatory and that violate international law."
In September, U.S.-brokered negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed after Israel resumed building in the West Bank settlements and refused Palestinian requests to halt the construction.