[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]
|John Kerry’s warning that Israel could become an “apartheid state” if it doesn’t reach a peace deal with the Palestinians has set off an uproar in Israel and angered Israel’s allies in Washington. Kerry was forced to backtrack from his comments, but he voiced an opinion that is frequently heard in Israel itself and tapped into a debate that has become increasingly heated in recent years. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)|
"... CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Settlers are considered Israeli civilians and subject to Israeli law, which tends to be more lenient and focus on rehabilitation. Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law, which provides fewer protections and tougher penalties for defendants. Israel says it cannot enforce Israeli law on the Palestinian population because that would be tantamount to annexation. Instead, it says the status of the West Bank must be determined through peace talks.
LAND: Under interim peace accords reached in the 1990s, the Palestinians were granted full or partial control over day-to-day affairs in major population centers that are home to roughly 95 percent of the West Bank's Palestinians. Yet this territory comprises just 40 percent of the West Bank, and the Palestinian-run region is divided into pockets.
In contrast, 60 percent of the West Bank — areas home to all Jewish settlements, army bases and nature reserves — remains under full Israeli control. An estimated 180,000 Palestinians live in Israeli-controlled areas.
MOVEMENT: Israeli settlers can travel freely in and out of Israel and pass quickly through military checkpoints set up to protect their communities. Palestinians need permits to enter Israel, as well as Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, and must pass through Israeli-controlled border crossings to enter neighboring Jordan. Businesses in settlements can bring in merchandise freely from Israel, but all imports to Palestinian-run areas pass through Israeli control, sometimes meaning delays, though Israeli authorities rarely outright block them.
Movement within the West Bank is also largely kept separate. Israel lay down well-maintained, high-speed roads to serve settlements and connect them to each other and Israel. Palestinians are not expressly barred from using these roads, but the highways usually bypass Palestinian communities. Many of the roads connecting Palestinian areas are decrepit and in poor condition. In times of conflict, Israel also puts up military checkpoints that can slow — or halt — movement between Palestinian towns.
VOTING: Israeli settlers are permitted to vote in Israeli elections, although they do not live in sovereign Israeli territory and Israel does not permit absentee voting for citizens living abroad. Palestinians are not permitted to vote in Israeli elections. They do have their own elections for the Palestinian Authority parliament and presidency. The powers of these bodies, however, are limited and the Palestinians have not held legislative or presidential elections for years.
PLANNING: Israeli settlements routinely grow as part of organized master plans. Palestinians living in territory under full Israeli control face great restrictions. It is virtually impossible for them to receive building permits, and demolitions of illegally built structures are common, according to the Israeli advocacy group Bimkom.
Palestinians are generally free to develop areas in the West Bank under their control. But the fragmented geography, with Palestinian-run regions separated by areas of Israeli control, makes it difficult to build large-scale projects such as roads or infrastructure.
WATER: Israel controls the "Mountain Aquifer," the West Bank's primary source of drinking water, and apportions water to the Palestinians. Under the nearly 20-year-old interim peace accords, Israel was permitted to use 80 percent of the aquifer's resources, while the Palestinians got 20 percent. The aquifer stretches into Israel.
This agreement was supposed to be revised after five years. But after two decades of failed peace efforts, the terms remain in place. Israel has granted some increases in allocations, but the system has not kept up with Palestinian growth and development needs.
Israelis consume more than three times the amount of water that Palestinians do per capita, roughly 240 liters (63 gallons) per person each day in Israel, compared to 70 liters (18 gallons) a day in the West Bank, according to the environmental advocacy group Friends of the Earth Middle East.
Settlements have access to Israel's modern water carrier, and settler farmers enjoy generous subsidies, while Palestinian communities, even major cities, suffer from frequent shortages. Some villages in Israeli-controlled areas have no access to water, forcing residents to collect rainwater or rely on tanker trucks in warmer weather, according to the human rights group B'tselem...."
[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-apartheid-comments-tap-israeli-debate-184204332.html