Human Rights Watch Blasts Illegal Israeli Settlements
by Stephen Lendman
Israel’s settlement project flagrantly violates international law. Over 600,000 settlers occupy stolen Palestinian land.
Fourth Geneva prohibits an occupying power from transferring its citizens to the territory it occupies, as well as displacing people from their land to permit it.
Lawless development has been ongoing for nearly half a century. Israel wants all valued Judea and Samaria land exclusively for Jews, Palestinians ethnically cleansed to facilitate it – increasingly isolated, their fundamental rights systematically violated.
On Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated his support for unlimited settlement expansion, saying “(t)he government supports settlements at any time, especially now when it is under terrorist assault and is taking a courageous and determined stand in the face of terrorist attacks.”
Terrorism in Occupied Palestine is exclusively state-sponsored, Palestinians wrongfully blamed for Israeli high crimes.
On January 19, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report, titled “Occupation, Inc.: “How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights,” saying:
Settlement businesses are complicit with abusive Israeli practices. They “depend on and contribute to the unlawful confiscation of Palestinian land and resources…”
They’re “inextricably linked to and benefit from Israel’s discriminatory policies that encourage settlements and harshly restrict Palestinians…”
Double-standard Israeli policy provides preferential treatment for settlers – occupation harshness for Palestinians in virtually all aspects of their lives under repressive military orders.
“…Israel confiscates Palestinian land, forcibly displaces Palestinians, restricts their freedom of movement, precludes them from building in all but 1 percent of the area of the West Bank under Israeli administrative control, and strictly limits their access to water and electricity,” said HRW.
Separate and unequal is official Israeli policy, settlement businesses profiting by contributing to Palestinian misery.
HRW stopped short of urging support for boycotting settlement goods and services. At the same time, it “advocate(s) that certain types of businesses cease operating” – notably illegal settlement ones because they “contribute to abus(ive)” Israeli practices.
It called for sanctions and more – urging cutting aid to Israel by an amount equal to what it spends on settlements and related infrastructure.
About 1,000 Israeli enterprises operate in “16 to 20 settlement industrial zones,” exploiting “9,300 hectares of settlement agricultural land and 11 quarries,” HRW explained.
They represent only part of the settlement economy. Much more exists, including servicing and financial operations, as well as industrial goods production.
Expanding settlements make Palestinian self-determination impossible, relegating them to isolated bantustans on worthless scrubland – perhaps before displacing them altogether.
Israel wants historic Palestine exclusively for Jews, Palestinians systematically denied their fundamental rights.
They’re ruthlessly persecuted and terrorized, on their own with no international support.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.