Geneva- The Israeli authorities have stepped up apartheid practices in the Palestinian territories, following the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Since Trump's announcement, Israel has notably been expanding settlements and plans to annex the West Bank, not to mention the high frequency of arrests against Palestinians by applying discriminatory military rules and policies to which only Palestinians are subject, says the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor

   The expansion of the settlements would mean more separation among Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem, with more than 2,000 Israeli settlers in the heart of those neighborhoods   

Israeli officials' statements regarding the expansion of settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have increased dramatically since US President Donald Trump's Jerusalem move. The Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction, Yves Galant, announced just two days after Trump's decision that the Israeli government intends to build 6,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem, bringing the number of units to a total of 63,000 units. This is a serious  development in the Israeli settlement construction, the largest in two decades," says Euro-Med

 

Euro-Med stresses that the new expansion of the settlements would mean more separation among Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem, with more than 2,000 Israeli settlers in the heart of those neighborhoods. These settlers are militarily protected by Israeli forces, making the Palestinians at risk and more vulnerable to threats.

 

 On the other hand, Israeli control over Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem has a negative impact on providing infrastructure and transportation services to the Palestinians, since the Israeli authorities are responsible for providing these services. In return, these services are provided to Israeli settlers, despite the Palestinians' obligation and commitment to pay taxes.

 

Furthermore, the number of clinics for women and children in Palestinian neighborhoods is four times less than those in Israeli settlements.


Euro-Med reiterates its assertion of the report issued by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which was later withdrawn, and which pointed out that Israel is imposing apartheid on the Palestinians, noting that the Israeli authorities seemed to be applying racist practices that affect the demographic presence of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including the refusal to grant building permits to Palestinians, which would expose more than 20,000 buildings to a continuing demolition threat by the municipality of the Israeli government. In addition, the Israeli government practices a policy of threatening to revoke the identity of the residents of East Jerusalem, if they leave the city for any reason. This policy has resulted in the loss of 14,595 Palestinians to their Jerusalem IDs and residence permits over the past years.

In the same context, Euro-Med documented the Israeli authorities’ waging of a wave of large-scale arrests of Palestinians, following protests that erupted in the Palestinian territories following the decision of US President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In this regard, Euro-Med said that the Israeli forces have stormed the West Bank and East Jerusalem more than 278 times since December 7, 2017, following the decision of President Trump, which led to the arrest of 601 Palestinians, 414 of them are from the West Bank, including 119 children and women, and 187 from East Jerusalem, including 45 women and children.

 

Most of the arrests are based on military orders and laws that Palestinians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are subject to, while Israeli settlers living in the same areas are not. Under these military orders, Palestinians are deprived of many basic rights, such as the right to peaceful expression and protest, or participation in political parties. These acts are criminalized when it comes to Palestinians alone and they are punishable by up to ten years in prison.

 

According to Euro-Med, the prison itself is subject to discriminatory criteria that distinguish between Palestinian and Israeli prisoners. The Palestinians are classified as "security prisoners." Under this classification, many of the rights granted to non-security prisoners, such as the right to conjugal visits or the right to make telephone calls. Also, Palestinian prisoners do not benefit from the early release system, which is often granted to other Israeli prisoners.

 

This system states that the Israeli perpetrator of a murder receives privileges in prison greater than those obtained by a Palestinian convicted of belonging to a Palestinian political party or participating in an anti-occupation demonstration or stone throwing, simply because he is classified as a "security prisoner."

 

Euro-Med stresses that the racist practices by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian territories contradict the provisions of international law and international conventions such as the Fourth Geneva Convention and its Protocol I, which prohibited the confiscation of property belonging to the inhabitants of the occupied territories, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. These conventions defined racial discrimination as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life, which Israel systematically practices against the Palestinians.

 

Euro-Med reiterates its assertion of the report issued by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which was later withdrawn, and which pointed out that Israel is imposing apartheid on the Palestinians, noting that the Israeli authorities seemed to be applying racist practices that affect the demographic presence of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including the refusal to grant building permits to Palestinians, which would expose more than 20,000 buildings to a continuing demolition threat by the municipality of the Israeli government. In addition, the Israeli government practices a policy of threatening to revoke the identity of the residents of East Jerusalem, if they leave the city for any reason. This policy has resulted in the loss of 14,595 Palestinians to their Jerusalem IDs and residence permits over the past years.