Israel’s government is “on the brink” of human rights abuses, the new head of Human Rights Watch said Thursday, and urged the United States and other allies to do more to hold it accountable. alleged abuses and persuade him to change course, Reuters reports.
A planned overhaul of the judiciary by Israel’s religious-nationalist government would be a “disaster” for human rights, HRW Executive Director Tirana Hassan said. Reuters.
She asked Washington to continue after he gave a rare justification for the move.
“With the current state of the Israeli government and the attacks on the judges, in particular, we see that this is not a government that fulfills human rights,” said Hassan.
“This is the government that is really on a rampage against human rights at home against its own people in Israel…”
The chief spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Lior Haiat, said: “This is a great example of how biased she and the organization are.
“Israel is a strong and vibrant democracy. The demonstrators, over the last few months, are a great example of it. Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate in the streets. No violence. Protected by the police. This is how a real democracy works.
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“It’s another example of an organization targeting Israel for nothing, with minimal understanding or fairness. So sad.”
The government’s plan to enable Parliament to override Supreme Court decisions and control judicial appointments has sparked some of the biggest street protests in Israel’s history, with critics calling the move a threat to democracy.
The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his supporters say that the plans would ensure a proper balance between the elected government and the judiciary and would not jeopardize the rights of the individual and minorities.
Earlier this week, Netanyahu suspended legislative steps to implement the plan and has begun talks with the political opposition on a compromise.
Hassan, a lawyer who has represented asylum seekers, said she hoped the administration of US President Joe Biden would “leverage their relationship and their power to ensure that Israel goes back from the brink, where they are now in terms of human rights. .
“We expect that the United States … will make Israel accountable for abuses with the same intensity that they are willing to give China an account of their abuses,” she said.
In a 2021 report, Human Rights Watch labeled Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its decades-long occupation of the West Bank as “apartheid”.
Several pro-Israel groups, including prominent Jewish organizations in the United States, have said that HRW and other rights groups have shown bias against Israel in their reporting.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported 152 Palestinian killings by Israeli security forces last year in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and said there had also been an increase in Jewish settler violence against Palestinians.
Israeli army operations have increased following a rise in attacks by Palestinians over the past year, in which at least 45 people have been killed, according to Israeli Foreign Ministry figures.
In separate comments at a meeting at the United Nations in Geneva on Thursday, Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Territories, said that the situation was getting worse.
“I have seen the increased forms of humiliation and humiliation applied to the Palestinians, which reinforces the smokestack architecture …,” she said.
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