Britain Lists Israel as ‘Country of Concern’ on Rights Report
The British Foreign Office has included the state of Israel as "a country of concern" in its report on human rights violators, alongside Iran, Bahrain and Belarus.
Israel appeared on a list of 28 countries accused of perpetrating human rights violations, published in a quarterly report issued Thursday, according to The European Jewish Press (EJP).
The report makes specific mention of the recent war in Gaza, Israeli housing expansion in areas beyond the Green Line, as well as Israel's withholding of Palestinian Authority (PA) tax revenues following the PA's unilateral statehood bid in the United Nations.
On the issue of Israel’s expansion of Jewish housing in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, the report recalled Foreign Minister William Hague’s warnings that the continued policy “undermines trust between the parties” as it “constitutes a serious provocation and an obstacle to peace.”
It further concluded the planned expansions “would have an impact on the economic development, transport links and the ability of the Palestinian Authority to deliver services to its citizens” as well as displacing Arabs from the region.
According to the EJP, the corresponding report on human rights violations in Iran measured half the length of that accumulated on Israel. The portion on Iran briefly noted concerns regarding continued use of the death penalty, as well as reports of violation of minority rights, including freedom of religion.
According to top U.S.-based and pro-democracy NGO Freedom House's annual report, Israel remains the entire Middle Eastern region’s only free country.