TEL AVIV (May. 19)
The U.S. State Department takes seriously Palestinian allegations of human rights abuses by Israeli authorities, and has warned Israel on the subject, Haaretz reported Thursday.
According to Haaretz, Richard Aherne, an official of the State Department’s human rights division, visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip recently and took statements from local residents on human rights abuses.
Aherne submitted a detailed report to Richard Schifter, the assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs, and to Secretary of State George Shultz.
The report contains testimony on the beating of Palestinian detainees after their arrest and states that a significant number of the complaints are justified.
Yossi Beilin, political director-general of the Foreign Ministry, was told about the report at a meeting he had with Schifter during his recent trip to Washington.
Schifter is said to have warned Beilin that a substantial portion of the State Department’s next annual report on the human rights situation worldwide would be devoted to Israel, Haaretz reported.