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Amnesty International: Gaza is still suffering – and so is the West Bank

Amnesty International's annual report details the ongoing human rights violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories

Dina Ezzat, Sunday 15 May 2011
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Amnesty International has issued its annual report for year, which provides a detailed discussion of Israel's actions ongoing human rights violations against Palestinians living in the occupied territories.  has included a detailed discussion of Israel's actions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In Gaza, the report notes that the "blockade of the Gaza Strip, in force since June 2007, suffocated the economy and drove people there further into poverty. Amid continuing health and sanitation problems, poverty and malnutrition, some 80 per cent of Gazans were forced to depend on international humanitarian aid, the flow of which was impeded by the blockade," according to the annual report of Amnesty International for this year.

Amnesty International has released its annual report for this year, reporting in detail about Israel's treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.  

The report states that the "blockade of the Gaza Strip, in force since June 2007, suffocated the economy and drove people there further into poverty. Amid continuing health and sanitation problems, poverty and malnutrition, some 80 per cent of Gazans were forced to depend on international humanitarian aid, the flow of which was impeded by the blockade."

"Most UN reconstruction projects to provide clinics and schools had to be delayed; as a result, some 40,000 Palestinian children eligible to enroll in UN schools in September had to be turned away."

In addition, "Israel continued to ban all export of goods from Gaza until 8 December, and the announced easing of restrictions on exports had not been implemented by the end of the year." 

Amnesty "considered the blockade to constitute collective punishment in breach of international humanitarian law and called repeatedly for it to be lifted."

Meanwhile, the report notes that "hundreds of Israeli military checkpoints and barriers restricted the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank, hindering or blocking access to workplaces, education and health facilities, and other services."

The report refers specifically, and in detail, to the continued construction of the separation wall and its influence on the lives of Palestinians living in West Bank villages. It also refers to the harsh treatment that Palestinians encounter at checkpoints. Forced evictions and house demolitions at the hand of Israeli authorities are also highlighted.

Moreover, the report states that "Israeli security forces used excessive force against Palestinian civilians, including non-violent demonstrators in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as farmers, fishermen and others working in the Israeli-declared 'exclusion zone' inside Gaza or its coastal waters."

The Amnesty International report also highlights the "impunity" of Israeli soldiers and settlers for their mistreatment of Palestinians under occupation: "Israeli soldiers, members of the security forces and settlers continued to enjoy impunity for human rights abuses committed against Palestinians, including unlawful killings. Settler violence included shooting at Palestinians and destruction of Palestinian property. In only extremely rare cases were the perpetrators held to account for their actions."

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