WASHINGTON – Discrimination of women, Arabs and Ethiopians,
mistreatment of refugees and asylum seekers and violations of migrants' rights – Israel
is guilty of all these charges, according to a State Department report on human rights practices around the world.
The report states that the most significant human rights problems observed in Israel in 2012 were terrorist attacks
against civilians but it also points to some concerning practices by the government.
One of the most pressing problems, according to the report, is "the institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens, in particular in access to equal education and employment opportunities."
The State Department also notede societal discrimination and domestic violence against women; and the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers, and irregular migrants.
"Other human rights problems included institutional and societal discrimination against non-Orthodox Jews and some minority religious groups; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities and Ethiopian Jews; and serious labor rights abuses against foreign workers," the report said.
Referring to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, the report accuses Israel of "excessive use of force against civilians, including killings; abuse of Palestinian detainees, particularly during arrest and interrogation; austere and overcrowded detention facilities; improper use of security detention procedures; demolition and confiscation of Palestinian property."
The State Department further criticized Israel for "limitations on freedom of expression, assembly, and association; and severe restrictions on Palestinians’ internal and external freedom of movement."
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