Amnesty International report raps Israel for Gaza blockade


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Amnesty International blasted Israel for its blockade of the Gaza Strip in its annual report on the state of the world’s human rights.

According to the Amnesty International Report 2012, which came out Thursday, Israel is “prolonging the humanitarian crisis” in Gaza Strip with its blockade.

In addition, the human rights group criticized Israel for its expansion of settlements in eastern Jerusalem, which the group said is a breach of international law. 

The report also said that “The Israeli army frequently used excessive, sometimes lethal force against demonstrators in the West Bank and civilians in border areas within the Gaza Strip."

Israeli military forces killed 55 civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, including 11 children, according to the report.

In its section on the Palestinian Authority, the report noted that "Despite announced cease-fires, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza fired indiscriminate rockets and mortars into Israel, and Israeli forces carried out air strikes that they said targeted Palestinians in Gaza involved in attacking Israel."

The report also noted that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas restricted freedom of expression and association, and their security forces used excessive force against demonstrators.

Some 155 countries were profiled in the report.

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