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Israel rights group chief slams occupation at UN

Chief of B'Tselem slammed Israel's violations against the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip

The executive director of Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem Hagai El-Ad yesterday slammed the Israeli occupation's crimes and violations against the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip during his address at the United Nations Security Council.

"It is very difficult, if not impossible, to fully convey the indignity, the outrage and the pain of a people denied the benefit of human rights for more than 50 years. Here, in these chambers, it is hard to articulate the flesh and blood meaning of the exposed lives Palestinians endure under occupation," El- Ad began his address.

El-Ad said that over the past two years; the last time he spoke before the council "as many as 317 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces while 294 Palestinian homes have been demolished.

Read: Israel arrests 2,187 Palestinians

"Israel has continued making arrests on a daily basis, including of minors; Israeli settlers have vandalided and uprooted thousands of olive trees and grapevines; Israeli security forces have continued to regularly enter Palestinians houses, sometimes coming in the dead of night to wake children, register their names and take their pictures; Palestinians have lost countless hours waiting at checkpoints, with no explanation," he added.

"All this is often referred to as 'the status quo'. Yet there is nothing static about this reality."

It is a calculated and deliberate process of slowly splitting up an entire people, fragmenting their land, and disrupting their lives: separating Gaza from the West Bank, breaking up the West Bank into small enclaves, and walling off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank

he said.

El-Ad described in his address the Gaza Strip as an "open-air prison" where two million Palestinians live. "Its inmates have been staging protests for the past six months, after suffering for more than a decade under an Israeli-imposed blockade that has led to economic collapse, soaring unemployment rates, polluted drinking water and dwindling power supplies, and ultimately, to deep despair. Since March 30, more than 5,000 Palestinians have been injured by live Israeli gunfire and more than 170 killed – including at least 31 minors. The youngest were just little boys. Majdi Al-Satari, Yasser Abu Al-Naja and Naser Musbeh were just 11 years old when they were killed".

Read: Palestinian children under Israeli military arrest 'face rampant abuses' says NGO

In response to El-Ad's address, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon accused El-Ad of being "a wretched collaborator".

"Mr. El-Ad, you are a citizen of the State of Israel who is serving our enemies. They are using you against us. IDF soldiers guard you, and you came here to defame them. Shame on you," Danon said.

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