Palestinian protest against Jewish presence in biblical city of Hebron, part of a campaign called "Dismantle the Ghetto , take the Occupation out of Hebron." (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90) (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)
Hebron protest occupation

Annual report brings back the term “occupation” but slams Palestinians for horrific abuses against their own people; confirms Jerusalem as Israeli capital, while validating the PA’s right to parts of the Old City.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday released its annual human rights reports on countries around the world, bringing back the term “occupation” that the Trump administration had removed from the diplomatic vocabulary to reflect the reality on the ground.

However, the Biden administration did not go back to the Obama term of “Israel and The Occupied Territories” and instead now calls them “Israel, West Bank and Gaza.” The explanation is that these are “territories that Israel occupied during the June 1967 war.”

In the report, the Biden administration confirms that “in 2017 the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” but leaves open where the future municipal boundaries of the city might be.

“Language in this report is not meant to convey a position on any final status issues to be negotiated between the parties to the conflict, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the borders between Israel and any future Palestinian state,” the report states.

Significantly, the separate report on Israel states that “the United States recognized … Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in 2019″ and does not offer any language to take back that statement. Previous Democratic administrations had included the area in the annual report under the heading “Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.”

The report on the Palestinians shows that their leadership is brutal in the treatment of its own people. The State Department researchers found that Palestinians violate most of the values of freedom and liberty that Americans hold dear.

Both the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah headed by Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas terror group that controls Gaza under military rule are hammered in the report for their human rights abuses.

“Reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, torture, and arbitrary detention by authorities; holding political prisoners and detainees; significant problems with the independence of the judiciary; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including violence, threats of violence, unjustified arrests and prosecutions against journalists, censorship, and site blocking,” the report states, reading almost the same list of atrocities carried out by both the PA and Hamas.

The report details how the pledges by the Palestinian leadership over the years for democratic freedom are a total fraud.

The report lists “substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including harassment of nongovernmental organizations; restrictions on political participation, as the Palestinian Authority has not held a national election since 2006; acts of corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for violence against women; violence and threats of violence motivated by anti-Semitism; anti-Semitism in school textbooks; violence and threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex persons; and reports of forced child labor.”

The human rights situation for the Palestinians is not getting better, as every year the State Department report is the same, detailing the systematic human rights abuses by the Palestinian leadership.

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