Annexation in the West Bank: How the Israeli State is facilitating ethnic cleansing and apartheid

First and foremost, let’s be clear the Israeli state has been annexing Palestinian land since Israel declared itself a sovereign state. Through the use of settlements, military occupation, military force and the enactment of discriminatory laws with regards to permits, land, and other civil matters & rights, there has been a steady and deliberate incremental annexation occurring. This incremental annexation amounts to apartheid and ethnic cleansing to steal even more land from Palestinians and displace them without having to grant them full equal rights.

Just take a look at this map that shows the perpetual massive loss of land to Palestinians.

The Israeli government has announced that from 1 July it will bring forward legislation to formally and illegally annex significant parts of occupied Palestine. This announcement has been condemned internationally. In the United States, members of the US Senate issued a letter condemning the annexation as “Annexation would betray our shared democratic values by denying Palestinians’ right to self-determination in a viable, sovereign, independent and contiguous state” Nonetheless, the US has been the only country to recognize settlements legally and show support for the annexation plan.

So what does annexation actually mean? Generally speaking, annexation is defined as to “add (territory) to one’s own territory by appropriation.” Appropriate means “take (something) for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission.” Under international law, it “refers to a unilateral act of a State through which it proclaims its sovereignty over the territory of another State.” The general principle to keep in mind in this definition is the forcible acquisition of territory.  Thus, under this definition, Israel has been annexing land since its inception with the mass expulsion of Palestinians and the destruction of indigenous villages whose lands have been given away to new Jewish settlers. Many Palestinians remain under Israeli authority in refugee camps without being granted a right to return to their lands. Ultimately, settlements are a form of incremental annexation where Palestinians are expelled from their land, have movement restricted further, and life made intentionally more difficult through military enforced orders.

  A Short Overview

To better understand the extent of the massive violation of human rights and oppression of the Palestinian people we need to know a little history and have a basic understanding of certain terms being used and what they mean. With this understanding, we can see why how the Israeli state has been facilitating ethnic cleansing and apartheid to further confiscate more land and tighten control over the territories to retain its ethno-homogenous majority. Annexation is just a cosmetic term used to justify stealing more land from indigenous Palestinians and “ethnically cleansing the region” for Israeli Judaic interests.


Occupation is defined as “the action, state, or period of occupying or being occupied by military force. Under international law,  territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. Moreover, Occupation is characterized by the extent to which a specific state (or an international organization like the UN) controls a region over which it has no territorial sovereignty. ” Thus, the Israeli military enforces many “def facto government” functions and the Palestinian population is not given equal or full legal rights. As a result, you have an apartheid-like judicial and law enforcement system. Despite living in the same area, house, or neighborhood Palestinians are subjected to Israeli military law while settlers/Israeli civilians are subjected to Israeli civilian law. Palestinian children, women, and men have to cross through military checkpoints just to worship, attend school, visit family members while Israeli settlers do not. Roads are blocked for Palestinians for settler-only roads in the West Bank which are usually strategically planned around central roads, religious sites, and to cut off economic income. Moreover, keep in mind that the military is there to protect the interests of the Israeli state which extends to the Jewish settlers. The official Israeli position on the status of the West Bank in international law, as expressed by the State Attorney for the Israel government, Mr. Gabriel Bach, is as follows: “Israel considers that since the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank in 1950 was recognized only by Great Britain and Pakistan, the question of sovereignty of the area is undecided. Therefore, Israel considers itself as the present power administering these territories until their status is resolved by negotiations.”In short, these lands are disputed territories not occupied territories. According to the Israeli state, due to this dispute and for security reasons the 53-year military occupation is justified. More on this later. 

    Definition of Ethnic Cleansing

“Ethnic cleansing” has been defined as the attempt to or systematic removal of (through deportation, displacement or even mass killing) members of an unwanted ethnic group in order to establish an ethnically homogenous geographic area. Additionally, it is usually accompanied by efforts to remove physical and cultural evidence of a target group. 

What is the West Bank?

The West Bank was captured by the Israeli State after the Six-Day War. Almost 3 million Palestinians live in the West Bank with about 40% of the population living in Areas A & B or the grey shaded area on the map. There are only about 400,000 settlers yet they mostly live in Area C which is 60% of West Bank land. That is the area in blue. Palestinians have a ridiculously high-density rate for a population to live in. Additionally, Area C is effectively off-limits for private Palestinian private development. This is incremental annexation and ethnic cleansing for settlements and military orders have steadily taken more land and cut off access for the Palestinian population. Yet those settlers despite residing in the West Bank are still subjected to Israeli civilian law and authority. You will also notice that these settlements are strategically planned near resources and fertile land to take economic and essential living resources away from Palestinians. 70% of Area C is designated by Israel as state land and or included within boundaries of regional settlement councils making it exclusively for Israeli use. The remaining 30% of Area C is restricted from Palestinian development because it requires Israeli permits which are rarely granted. One was granted in all of 2014. Permits are a common legal mechanism used to justify the demolition of Palestinian homes. It is easy to see how the Israeli state may be biased to whom it grants permission to have permits. The West Bank also features many significant religious sites for the Abrahamic religions. The Annexation Plan and Trump Peace Plan plans to declare sovereignty on all settlements on the West Bank which mainly represents the area in green. The legality of settlements is a key function to how the Israeli Occupied Forces have structured their annexation plans.

Thus, as the map shows the West Bank is divided into three main areas. In Area A, the PA controls most affairs. In Area B, while the PA is in charge of education, health, and the economy, the Israelis have full control of external security, meaning they retain the right to enter any home at any time. In practice, military soldiers will enter a family in the middle of the night for security reasons. In Area C, the Israeli state retains total control over all matters, including security, planning, and construction. Almost all of the international community except the US, including the U.N. and the International Court of Justice, say that settlements are illegal. Israel’s policy of transferring its civilians in occupied Palestinian territory into “settlements” and forcibly displacing the local population violates international humanitarian law. The basis for this is the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids the transfer by an occupying power of its people to occupied territory.

 Definition of Apartheid & The Creation of the State of Israel

Apartheid is defined under international law “as an institutionalized form of racism in which states enact laws which function as the apparatus to commit inhuman acts for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” There are three main facets of systematic apartheid. One facet is when the state codifies into law a preferred identity and then establishes law that grants preferential legal status and material privileges based on that identity. Recently, the Israeli governmental body passed the nation-state law. Some things the law states are “The Land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.” Also, it states “The State of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish People, in which it realizes its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.” Lastly, it also states that “the exercise of the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People” When you literally legislate that the government and the territory that it governs is for a specific religious group of people that is the definition of apartheid. Moreover, remember that the Israeli state only gained an ethno-homogeneous majority after the expulsion of over a million Palestinians. Referred to as the Nakba, the state of Israel was literally created because it established a demographical majority after the expulsion of Palestinians. After a mass migration of persecuted Jews during World War II, Jewish radicialists expelled over 750,000 native Palestinians to form a nation with a ethno-homogeneous majority without allowing those natives to return. At the same time, it still has full control of that same native population without granting them full equal rights or self-determination in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli state itself has said “This short survey has shown that neither under the international conventions, nor under the major UN resolutions, nor under the relevant agreements between the parties, do the Palestinian refugees have a right to return to Israel. According to Palestinian sources, there are about 3.5 million Palestinian refugees nowadays registered with UNRWA.13 “If Israel were to allow all of them to return to her territory, this would be an act of suicide on her part, and no state can be expected to destroy itself.” How would the state exactly destroy itself? It wouldn’t be destroyed, it just wouldn’t have a majority Jewish population anymore.. I don’t think a clearer portrait could be painted on the systematic and legislative apartheid mindset that keeps control for a specific religious group. A group that is not the only people to have long ancestral ties to the land. Israel commonly uses the phrase “the only democracy in the Middle East’ as a means of garnering support abroad. However, it is clear that democracy only exists and serves the Jewish people.

 The second pillar of apartheid is when the state segregates the population into geographic areas based on their identity. The favored identity receives preferential access to land, water, other resources, and to government benefits and services while the non-preferred group is confined to ever-shrinking non-contiguous besieged territorial enclaves. Settlements are Jewish only enclaves that result in the displacement of Palestinians. You can see from the maps above the massive loss of land for Palestinians. Area C has some of the most fertile lands and abundant water resources. Additionally, military checkpoints that restrict movement for Palestinian children, men, and women are only for Palestinians. Roads in the West Bank are constructed just for Jewish settlers or there are certain areas completely restricted to Palestinians but not internationals. Access to resources such as fertile land, water, and roads are segregated and disproportionately advantageous to the Jewish settlers. Israel’s state resources including land in occupied Palestinian territory which Israel has declared ‘state land’ are specified as being for the exclusive benefit of Jews, administered under the World Zionist Organization, Jewish Agency, and Jewish National Fund. These para-state organizations are authorized agents of the state of Israel; receive funding from the state of Israel; are empowered to manage Israeli state affairs, yet their charters and Israeli Law mandate that they operate in perpetuity for the exclusive benefit of the world Jewish heritage. Furthermore, permits for homes and construction are rarely given to Palestinians while disproportionately approved for Jewish settlers. By the same token, Palestinians have their homes demolished much higher than Jewish settlers.

For example in Hebron, Israeli military forces closed Shuhada street in 1994 after the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre when settler Baruch Goldstein stormed the mosque and shot dead 29 Palestinians and wounded 150. Since then, Israeli military forces have entirely closed access to Shuhada street to Palestinians but not Jewish settlers & internationals. The street used to serve as a main economic hub for Palestinians. This additional restriction of movement has prevented Palestinian residents from accessing their shops and homes which for many was a primary source of income. Additionally, in order to pray at the Ibrahimi mosque, Palestinians have to cross at least 1 military checkpoint and are succumbed to body searches, bag searches, ID checks, detention, questioning, and more whilst Jewish settlers have no such restriction and are even allowed to carry firearms. Thus, the massacre resulted in more restrictions for Palestinians. 

Another example is the Tent of Nations. The Nassar family is Christian and the last remaining Palestinian family in the area.  The farm is in a prime location and surrounded by Jewish settlements. 

In 1991, “the military authorities declared that more than 90% of the farm now belonged to the State of Israel. Gush Etzion, one of the biggest settlement blocks in the West Bank, looked set to expand on to the Nassar farm.”  Bulldozers have demolished over 1500 orchard trees, settlers have uprooted 250 olive trees, the Nassar family has been threatened, have had their 72-year-old mother forced out of bed at gunpoint in the middle of the night and made to wait in the cold while soldiers searched the farm. Additionally, they have gone through a lengthy over arduous legal process to prove ownership of the land. Yet still, demolition orders are posted and trees uprooted. The Nassar family is one of the thousands of examples of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and forced displacement. Overall, the Israeli state has segregated the Palestinian population into the West Bank and Gaza and annexation focuses on declaring sovereignty on Jewish only settlementsLastly, the last pillar of apartheid is when the state establishes security laws and policies designed to suppress any opposition to the regime. This system of domination is reinforced through arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture, and others. Remember, that most Palestinians in the West Bank are subjected to Israeli military law which means that soldiers can enter property at any time. It has been already highlighted how laws are meant to privilege one group over another.

Demolitions are a main component of how the Israeli state maintains dominance over the Palestinian population. There have been at least 4000 demolitions of Palestinian homes in Area C which are legally justified through a “lack of permits.” However, as you can there was only one permit granted in all of 2014.

      The Nakba, Naksa, and the Right to Return

You can’t even begin to talk about occupation without a basic understanding of Nakba and its ramifications. The Nakba literally means disaster or catastrophe which refers to the time period from 1947-1949 when the exodus of more than 700,000 Palestinians which was about half the population. Additionally, between 400-600 Palestinian villages were destroyed and completely removed and extinguished from history. There was also between 10 and 70 massacres that occurred during the 1948 war by Zionist militias that included the killing of children.

The Naksa meaning setback in Arabic refers to when Israel seized control and began occupying the Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The Naksa led to the displacement of some 430,000 Palestinians, half of which originated from the areas occupied in 1948 and were thus twice refugees. Since the creation of Israel, no new Palestinian towns or cities were built within its borders. Today, there are about 7.98 million Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons who have not been able to return to their original homes and villages. Some 6.14 million of those are refugees and their descendants beyond the borders of the state; many live in some of the worst conditions in more than 50 refugee camps run by the UN in neighboring countries.

The right of return is a principle in international law that guarantees everyone’s right of voluntary return to, or re-entry to, their country of origin or of citizenship. For most Palestinians in the West Bank, that return is only an hour away but their former homes and villages have been destroyed and turned into Israeli townships. The Israeli government has consistently rejected the Palestinian right to return usually under the pretense that the population voluntarily left and that accepting the right of return would be political suicide. The Jewish Virtual Library literally states, “Today, there are nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees. In the interest of peace, Israeli leaders have repeatedly expressed a willingness to absorb some of these refugees and the state has already accepted nearly 200,000 of them; however, the Arabs refuse to negotiate over the supposed “right of return” and made clear they consider the refugee issue a weapon in their continued war against Israel. Israel’s acceptance of a “right of return” would amount to national suicide.  As the corresponding map shows, the return of every refugee would swell Israel’s population to more than 12 million while in the process making Arabs the majority. The world’s only Jewish state would cease to exist.” 

Thus, the Israeli state acknowledges that the native Palestinian population was displaced but can’t provide a right to return because it wouldn’t retain its ethno-homogeneous majority. Despite this, the Israeli legislative body issued the Law of Return for Jews. The law states that “Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh.” Proving your Jewish ancestry is enough for you to set on the path to becoming an Israeli citizen. In the West Bank, there are 19 refugee camps with at least 775,000 registered refugees.” Palestinians are literally refugees in their own land and have been since the aforementioned Nakba & Naksa. Despite Israeli military control over the region it refuses to grant citizenship, meaning full equal rights, because it would lose its ethno-homogenous majority. It also refuses to provide autonomy because that would mean withdrawing access to resources, control over land, control over historical sites, and treating Palestinians under civilian laws and potentially respecting property laws. 

In 1950, Israel introduced the Absentee Property Law to confiscate the property of the 800,000 Palestinians who were forced to flee their homes between 1947 and 1949, due to the Nakba.

The law encompassed those Palestinians who were displaced to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, or to neighboring countries. Israel claimed that it would use the law to protect private properties until the refugees could return, but simultaneously banned them from returning and sold their land to Jewish Israelis. Moreover, after the 1967 war and occupation of the West Bank, Israel applied this law in the form of a military order that saw the transfer of all property belonging to Palestinian refugees who left the West Bank during 1967 to the Israeli government. In 2015, the Israeli government made this law applicable to East Jerusalem and used it to seize private property of Jerusalem refugees in the West Bank or Gaza who are forbidden from returning to their homes.
Annexing the entire West Bank would mean giving the 3.1 million Palestinians who live there Israeli citizenship and extending Israeli law, instead of martial law, to the area. Many see this as “an end to the Jewish state”, as Palestinians would outnumber Jewish Israelis. Also, keep in mind that would also grant the several hundred thousand refugees the potential legal ability to challenge the ownership of their formal land. That is why the Israeli state is very selective on which land it would annex and at the same time not relinquishing its control on the rest of the occupied territory.

Who is Palestinian

Palestinians are people who are “composed of the modern descendants of the peoples who have lived in Palestine continuously over the centuries and who today are largely culturally and linguistically Arab” This includes Muslims, Christians, and even Jews.  Additionally, this includes Bedouins whose lifestyle is imitated or referred to frequently in the Old Testament. (Abraham was a Bedouin) There are other ethnic groups such as the Druze and Samaritans as well. 

So What Does It Mean To Live Under Occupation and How Does it Facilitate Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing?

It would be hard to properly encapsulate the oppression of the Palestinian people through 50 years of occupation in a couple of paragraphs. Military orders, permits, and Jewish settlers are among a multitude of aspects that facilitate ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

Military orders are the rule of law for Palestinians in the West Bank. Since the inception of the occupation, 1,680 military orders have been issued in the West Bank. These military orders impinge on on every aspect of Palestinian life and regulating its every detail. The military occupation itself places the greatest limitation on the rule of law. Civil rights such as the right to assembly, freedom of speech, the right to self-determination, a representative government, and an independent judiciary continue to be denied under Israeli occupation.
For example, Israeli occupying forces rely on military orders to shut down peaceful protests or create arbitrary military zones to detain Palestinians or quash protests.  In 2010, “the Israeli army promulgated Military Order 1651, which replaced 20 prior orders and imposes a 10-year sentence on anyone who “attempts, orally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the Area [the West Bank] in a manner which may harm public peace or public order” or “publishes words of praise, sympathy or support for a hostile organization, its actions or objectives,” which it defines as “incitement.” It further outlines vaguely worded “offenses against authorities” whose penalties include potential life imprisonment for an “act or omission which entails harm, damage, disturbance to the security of the Area or the security of the IDF” or entering an area in close “proximity” to property belonging to the army or state. The law of occupation grants occupiers wide authority to restrict rights, but also imposes key limitations, including the requirement to facilitate public life for the occupied population.” As you can see the order is intentionally incredibly broad. 

Another example is the case of human rights defender Farid al Atrash. The Israeli army detained in 2016 human rights defender Farid al-Atrash during a peaceful demonstration in Hebron that called for re-opening the main downtown street named Shuhada street that the army prohibits Palestinians from accessing. Prosecutors charged him under Military Order 101 for “demonstrating without a permit” and under Military Order 1651 for “attempt[ing] to influence public opinion in the Area in a manner that may harm public order or safety” through “inciting” chants and “waving Palestinian Authority flags” and holding a sign that read “Open Shuhada Street.” Prosecutors further accused him of entering “a closed military zone” and “assault[ing]” a soldier, but furnished no actual evidence to substantiate these claims outside his non-violent participation in the demonstration. Authorities released al-Atrash on bail four days after his arrest but continue to prosecute him for his participation in this event three-and-a-half years later.” Military orders are also issued to designate which type of farm equipment Palestinians can use where they can plant onions, limitations on construction on their own property, and more. The Israeli army has for over 50 years used broadly worded military orders to arrest Palestinian journalists, activists, and others for their speech and activities – much of it non-violent – protesting, criticizing, or opposing Israeli policies.

Another military order that severely hurts Palestinian civil rights is Military Order 1651. This order authorizes the army to close a “business” or any other “place which the public or part of it frequents” for periods if it has reason to believe that it is “necessary for the maintenance of sound government, public order and for the security of the Area and the IDF.

Permits are another system of dominance used by the Israeli state to assert control and domination over the Palestinian population. Permits are needed for construction for things such as a kitchen, work, movement, access to medical care, to study, and many more. (Google it) As you might think, permits can be difficult to get for Palestinians. The Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank approved only 21 of 1,485 applications from Palestinians for construction permits in Area C, the portion of the West Bank under full Israeli control, between 2016 and 2018. During the same period, 2,147 demolition orders were issued in Area C for violations by Palestinians of planning and construction regulations, Civil Administration data show. Ninety of the orders were carried out. Also requested was comparable data for the entire period since 2000. Since 2000, Palestinians have submitted 6,532 building permits in Area C, of which 245 – only 3.7 percent – were approved. “The area in which Palestinians can build legally as part of approved plans whose purpose is to limit development is 0.5 percent of Area C. The area of plans for settlements is about 26 percent.  Permits for water control are almost non-existent for the municipalities.Israel controls some 90 percent, about six times more, of the water resources whilst Israeli settlers, use about six times more water than the 3.1 million Palestinians in the West Bank do. Furthermore, Israel has refused to issue new permits to Palestinian stone mining and quarrying companies – the largest Palestinian industry – while operating some 11 quarries for Israeli use.” The Israeli state will also use “Requisition for Military Needs” orders to seize land. This allows the Israeli army to issue a “temporary” seizure order on private land, after which the ownership of the area is transferred to Israel. This is a foundational pillar on how settlers obtain land to construct their settlements.

Settler violence is another component of daily life under occupation in the West Bank. Attacks can range from physical assault, attempted assassinations, trespassing of property, damage of property torching/poisoning olive groves and fields, throwing stones, and more. In a ten-year review published in May 2015, human rights organization Yesh Din found that “some 85% of investigations into such cases (including violence, arson, damage to property, mutilation of trees and takeover of land) ended with no further action taken, and that the odds of a police complaint filed by a Palestinian resulting in the conviction of an Israeli civilian were a mere 1.9%. Given the futility of this effort, many Palestinians choose to forgo filing a complaint altogether.” Also, remember that Israel has operated on two separate legal systems in the same territory. In the occupied West Bank, illegal Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law. In a vote of 51 to 17, lawmakers approved a series of amendments to Israel’s Criminal Law, raising the minimum prison sentence for rock-throwing to three years. Settler children will not be subject to this statute while Palestinian children face lengthy prison sentences. Additionally, under Israeli Military Law, children over the age of 12 are considered adults within the legal system. Furthermore, one of the most problematic practices of military courts is the use of remand in custody until the end of proceedings. This means that a person whose interrogation has been completed and who has already been formally charged is kept in detention until the legal proceedings are over. Lastly, it is common sense that military courts are not an impartial or neutral arbitrator. One of the main functions and objectives of the Israeli military is to protect Jewish settlers and settlements. Violence is also common from Israeli soldiers as well. In 2018 alone, 262 Palestinians were killed and nearly 25,000 injured by Israeli forces.

These factors are all something that the Israeli civilian population and the Jewish settlers don’t have to face. Ultimately, if I am a Palestinian my home can be demolished, my business can be closed for almost any reason, my children can be tried as adults and face long prison sentences for stone-throwing, I have to cross military checkpoints just to pray and be subjected to random body searches while walking I can be body searched for security reasons, face the threat of violence of settlers, can’t rely on a judicial system, and can’t move freely.. The Israeli army has deprived generations of Palestinians in the West Bank of their basic civil rights, including the rights to free assembly, association, and expression, regularly drawing on military orders, permits, and force since the beginning of the occupation.

Settlements & Zionism

 In reality, what territories or land is disputed, and why? Prime Minister Netanyahu himself justified annexation by saying These places are an integral part of the historic Jewish homeland … but also an integral part of Christian identity. They are part of your heritage. Part of our common civilization and under Israel sovereignty our common heritage will be forever protected.” A central facet of Zionist ideology and of settler mentality is that the Jews are entitled to have the land. The official Zionist definition stated by the Jewish Virtual Library is that Zionism “is the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.” Settlements are communities of Jews that have been moving to the West Bank since it came under Israeli occupation in 1967. Some of the settlers move there for religious reasons, some because they want to claim the West Bank territory as Israeli land, and some because the housing there tends to be cheap and subsidized by the Israeli government. Why would the Israeli government subsidize Jewish only settlements in the West Bank that displace Palestinians? Settlements are at times created when a Jewish settler occupies a home and declares it theirs. They enjoy preferential treatment legally, judicially, and from the military. Settlements, which are accompanied by roads and infrastructure built especially for the settlers, control at least 40 percent of the West Bank’s surface area. As such, Israel has created an apartheid reality in the Palestinian territories whereby Israelis and Palestinians live under a system that privileges Jews over non-Jews. As mentioned previously, settlers often harass & attack Palestinians and their property to coerce them to leave.


Israel’s occupation practices and policies over the past 53 years reveal that the occupying power not only effectively controls the land but also considers it sovereign Israeli territory which it has no intention of surrendering. Additionally, the geographical fragmentation of Palestinian territory and discriminate control over the population amounts to ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

Through military orders, an unjust permit system, seizures of land, settler violence, illegal settlements and more the Israeli State has facilitated ethnic cleansing and apartheid. “The United Nations has stated on many occasions that the 53-year-old Israeli occupation is the source of profound human rights violations against the Palestinian people. These violations include land confiscation, settler violence, discriminatory planning laws, the confiscation of natural resources, home demolitions, forcible population transfer, excessive use of force and torture, labor exploitation, extensive infringements of privacy rights, restrictions on the media and freedom of expression, the targeting of women activists and journalists, the detention of children, poisoning by exposure to toxic wastes, forced evictions and displacement, economic deprivation and extreme poverty, arbitrary detention, lack of freedom of movement, food insecurity, discriminatory law enforcement and the imposition of a two-tier system of different political, legal, social, cultural and economic rights based on ethnicity and nationality. Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders, who peacefully bring public attention to these violations, are slandered, criminalized or labeled as terrorists. Above all, the Israeli occupation has meant the denial of the right of Palestinian self-determination.

With that being said, we have to stand up for human rights and equality to end this incremental ethnic cleansing. The annexation plan presented is just decades of incremental land seizures from Palestinians.

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