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Today @hrw released its most significant piece of research on rights abuses inside Israel in years, looking at discriminatory land policies that treat Palestinian & Jewish communities in starkly unequal terms. A thread with some highlights 1/11
93% of land in Israel is state land. Nearly 1/2 seats of gov body that allocates state land belongs to Jewish Nat Fund, whose mandate is to develop land for Jews & no-one else. Palestinians makeup 21% of pop, but only ~3% of land belongs to Palestinian towns where most live 2/11
An estimated 350 of 370 Jewish towns established btw 1948 & 53 were built on land confiscated from Palestinians. For first 18 years of history, Israel placed most Palestinians in Israel under military rule, confining them to enclaves & severely restricting their movement 3/11
Israel created 900+ Jewish towns since its founding, but 0 for Palestinians outside handful aimed largely to concentrate Bedouin communities. Palestinian towns that survived 1948 have shrunk amid confiscations & discriminatory land policies, as Jewish towns nurtured to grow 4/11
Palestinian towns face major density problems & a housing crunch, with an estimated 60-70K homes at risk of demolition. As of July 2015, 97% of judicial demolition orders in force across Israel were for structures located in Palestinian communities 5/11
Israeli law permits small towns to maintain admissions committees that can block ppl from living there for incompatibility with its “social-cultural fabric.” A Technion-Israel prof in Haifa found >900+ Jewish communities restrict residency & have 0 Palestinians living there 6/11
Jisr al-Zarqa, only Palestinian town in Israel on Mediterranean, is squeezed to south by earthen berm built by largely Jewish town of Caeserea, to east by Highway 2 separating it from lands residents once owned & to north by Jewish kibbutz of Ma’agan Michael & its fish ponds 7/11
The population density of Palestinian Jisr al-Zarqa (9148 residents/KM2) is 30X higher than that of its neighbor to the north, the Jewish kibbutz of Ma’agan Michael (304 residents/KM2) 8/11
In Qalansawe, Israel bars Palestinian residents from building homes in ~1/2 its land, largely zoned for agricultural use, designated 'green' area or deemed too close to state infrastructure – restrictions that neighboring all-Jewish moshav of Sha’ar Efraim largely don’t face 9/11
Fully surrounded by Nazareth Illit (renamed Nof HaGalil in 2019), a Jewish-majority city built in 50s to “swallow up” surrounding Palestinian communities as then Israeli official put it, Ein Mahel can’t build homes on most of its land, largely zoned for agricultural use. 10/11
Clear that Israel’s policy of boxing in Palestinians, maximizing land for Jewish communities & segregation extends beyond occupied West Bank. Efforts to end Israel’s discriminatory rule will fall short so long as they overlook the plight of Palestinian citizens of Israel 11/11
The full report can be found here:…
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