International human rights organization Amnesty International called on Israel to cease the expansion of settlements and the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in a letter sent to all Israeli candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Amnesty International saidin the letter,"These practices are regarded as a violation of human and international laws, and settlements and the Wall are against international law and a violation of Palestinians’ basic human rights."
Amnesty International called for candidates in the Israeli elections to widen the election debate to encompass economic and social rights issues such as the need to improve greater access to health, work and education for Israel’s most marginalized communities, including Israeli Arabs and migrants who continue to suffer from discriminatory policies and practices. The organization also calls for more effective protection for women from violence and trafficking, with more perpetrators brought to justice.
It urged candidates to support the call of Israeli NGOs for the establishment of a national human rights commission with the power to investigate alleged human rights violations and propose better safeguards.
"Too often, policies pursued by Israel in the name of security have breached international law and grossly violated the fundamental rights of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories," reads the report.
"These include the continued expansion of Israeli settlements and the construction of the fence/wall inside the occupied West Bank, including in and around East Jerusalem, which impede or deny Palestinians’ rights to an adequate standard of living, housing, health, education, work and freedom of movement within the Occupied Territories. Ultimately such policies have caused more insecurity, as well as untold suffering."
Amnesty International also called on candidates to commit to ending Israel’s imposition of collective punishments on Palestinians within the Occupied Territories, such as continuing, arbitrary restrictions on their movements which have paralysed the Palestinian economy and forced a growing percentage of the population to depend on international aid. As the occupying power, Israel is forbidden from using collective punishment and is responsible for the welfare of the occupied population under international law.
The organization called too for the introduction of an effective mechanism to ensure that unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces and attacks against Palestinians and their property by Israeli settlers are urgently and impartially investigated, and those responsible brought to justice. Currently, such killings and attacks are rarely investigated and those responsible are almost never punished.