Palestinians Are Living Under Discriminatory Laws

(Originally Published on in December 2010)

A new report from Human Rights Watch once again clearly, and succinctly, lays forth the discriminatory and downright apartheid laws which the Palestinian people daily have to live under. The 166 page report, entitled Separate and Unequal, describes in detail the “two-tier system of laws, rules and services that Israel operates for the two populations in areas of the West Bank (and East Jerusalem) under its exclusive control, which provide preferential services, development and benefits for Jewish settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians.”

The report also notes that between 2000 and 2007, 94 per cent of Palestinian requests for building permits were turned down. This means that not only can the native population not build new homes for their expanding numbers, they also cannot repair or renovate their homes, mosques, schools etc. When they attempt to do so, the Israeli government simply issues a cease and desist order or even more insidiously, issues a demolition order. Conversely, the report further notes, “in several cases where Jewish settlers have built buildings, roads, and other infrastructure – and entire settlement outposts – without necessary permits, Israeli authorities did not demolish the buildings, but retroactively approved their construction.” It is also worth remembering that these settlers are illegal under international law but this does not act as a deterrent to them or the Israeli government.

This is all part of a larger agenda to “manage” the Palestinian population. In recent years members of the Knesset have commented that the percentage of Palestinians in Israel has to be kept to “acceptable levels”; these levels being 10 per cent or less.

The report, Separate and Unequal, can be downloaded at the following link.