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Israel gets mixed reviews in annual human rights report

JERUSALEM, July 1 (JTA) — Israel has made some advances in the area of civil rights, but discrimination against Israeli Arabs and human rights violations against Palestinians in the territories continue, according to an Israeli civil rights group. In its annual report released Wednesday, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said the main infringement of human rights was the continued use of violent interrogation techniques against suspected Palestinian terrorists. The association also criticized the continued use of administrative detention of prisoners, which involves holding them without trial, as well as other violations. “It is manifested in the daily lives of Palestinians in the occupied territories, regarding restrictions on freedom of movement, receiving permits to enter Israel and move between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the demolition of houses because of lack of zoning permits,” said Dan Yakir, legal adviser for ACRI. Yakir also said that within Israel, discrimination continued against Israeli Arabs, particularly in the distribution of financial resources to Arab villages. ACRI said Israel had improved in some areas of civil rights for Israelis, citing as an example the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, which allows access to public documents. But other social discrimination continues, the group said, including government ministries failing to provided sufficient equipment to serve the disabled, and continued discrimination against women in some workplaces.

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