State says little on Human Rights Watch report

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. State Department was noncommittal on a Human Rights Watch report that said Israelis and Palestinians live "separate and unequal" lives.

A State Department statement issued Wednesday evening in response to a reporter’s question noted that many of the issues covered in the report were covered "in great detail" in the department’s annual Human Rights Report.

"The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate General in Jerusalem closely monitor human rights conditions and issues throughout their consular districts," the statement said. "The United States expects Israel and the Palestinian Authority to uphold their human rights obligations."

Pro-settler groups have criticized the tone of the report, released last week, as suggesting that Israel is moving toward apartheid status in the differing standard for Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank.

Israel’s government has yet to respond to the report.

NEXT STORY