Monday, October 18, 2010

Amnesty International: Illegal Israeli settlement plans threaten Palestinian human rights

Amnesty International, Oct 15, 2010

Over 600 Palestinians had their homes demolished in the West Bank last year

Amnesty International on Friday urged the Israeli authorities to abandon plans to construct 238 new housing units in Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

“The Israeli authorities must immediately halt expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Not only does the building contravene international law, it also compounds the litany of abuses of the human rights of Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including their rights to adequate housing and water.”

The 238 new housing units are planned for the large settlements of Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot, established in 1984 and 1974 respectively. Pisgat Ze’ev now has over 40,000 residents and, like Ramot, its services are provided by the Israeli Jerusalem municipal authority.

The plan for 80 units in Pisgat Ze’ev and 158 in Ramot was announced yesterday by the Israel Lands Administration and the Israeli Ministry for Construction and Housing. According to the Israeli media, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had approved the plans.

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