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Human rights NGO slams Trump plan: ‘Control over movement means control over life’

Israeli soldiers intervene in Palestinians during a protest against US President Donald Trump's peace plan in Jordan Valley, West Bank on 29 January 2020. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli soldiers intervene in Palestinians during a protest against US President Donald Trump's peace plan in Jordan Valley, West Bank on 29 January 2020. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]

Israeli human rights organisation Gisha described the newly-published US “peace plan” as “a plan for ongoing conflict”, in a press release issued yesterday.

According to Gisha, which has a particular focus on freedom of movement for Palestinians living under occupation, the Trump administration’s plan “aims to make permanent a reality of fragmentation, isolation and division in the occupied Palestinian territory”.

“Further entrenching the dispossession of Palestinians and perpetuating the occupation are a recipe for ongoing conflict, not peace,” Gisha added.

The NGO highlighted that in 15 years of “monitoring access and movement to and from the Gaza Strip…it has been plainly obvious that continued control over land, sea, airspace, and commercial and pedestrian crossings provides Israel with endless means of enacting collective punishment.”

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“Israel repeatedly uses this control to render suffering on a whim,” Gisha stated.

“Control over movement means control over life,” the organisation emphasised. “The sweeping restrictions that Israel imposes on movement of people and goods prohibit economic activity and sentence the Palestinian civilian population to a life of scarcity,” while “deny[ing] people access to livelihoods, education, medical care, and tear apart families and communities.”

According to Gisha, “the only vision” presented in Trump’s plan is for “enclaves” which are “disturbingly reminiscent of Bantustans” in Apartheid South Africa, “whose residents will be deprived of rights and of control over their own fate”.

The NGO concluded that it will “continue to promote the fundamental right to freedom of movement, a precondition for exercising other fundamental rights and for living a life of dignity.”

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