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UN rapporteur slams Israeli policy of 'Judaization'

Feb. 12, 2012 9:28 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 14, 2012 11:08 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A United Nations Special Rapporteur said Sunday that Israel is systematically implementing a discriminatory policy of housing and planning in Israel, East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

"From the Galilee and the Negev to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities promote a territorial development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities, particularly affecting Palestinian communities," Professor Raquel Rolnik, UN rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, said on Sunday.

During a two week visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank, Rolnik has met with both Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials, together with international agencies and local NGOs, a statement said.

Speaking at the conclusion of her trip, Rolnik said she had witnessed the effect of Israeli policies in East Jerusalem which "severely restrict Palestinians from building legally."

"Israel has not provided Palestinians with the necessary planning framework to ensure that their basic housing and infrastructure needs are met," she added.

The UN rapporteur also slammed Israeli policies in the West Bank where a "Palestinian presence was progressively limited in parallel to a disproportional support to the expansion of Jewish communities."

Bedouin communities in the Negev and Jewish settlements in Area C and in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are the "new frontiers of dispossession of the traditional inhabitants, and the implementation of a strategy of Judaization and control of the territory," Rolnik said.

A report detailing all findings of her mission will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in 2013.
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