Fifty years of impunity must end
The international community continues to turn a blind eye to Israel's violations of international law and the abuse of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Oxfam said today.
The billions of dollars in humanitarian and development aid will have little sustainable, long-term impact while the occupation - which started 50th years ago this week - remains in place.
Chris Eijkemans, Oxfam said: "There are few examples of poverty or injustice in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that do not stem from the occupation. If it weren't for the occupation, most aid agencies would not need to be here. The issues facing Palestinians are enormous and complex, but on each count, despite the billions of dollars invested, the lives of Palestinians cannot meaningfully improve as long as the occupation persists."
Despite the Occupied Palestinian Territory being one of the highest per capita recipients of aid in the world in recent decades, the economy, security and many development indicators have declined. This is due to a fundamental failure to ensure that aid commitments are underpinned by diplomatic and political pressure to end violations and allow Palestinians to claim their rights.
Eijkemans said: "The international community shoulders a large portion of the blame for the ongoing situation faced by 4.5 million Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and must take clear and urgent action.
"Toothless condemnation of the litany of abuses is not enough. Settlement expansion, disproportionate use of violence, forcible transfer, restriction of movement, confiscation of land, destruction of homes and collective punishment are illegal acts. Governments have a choice: they can either challenge or entrench these ongoing violations.
"Israel has no incentive to end the occupation while it bears no tangible cost for its violations. We must do more to find a solution that brings justice and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians."
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