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US rights report shows Washington’s hostility towards Palestinians: Foreign ministry

 Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the United States over its decision to drop the term Israeli-occupied in describing the Golan Heights and Palestinian territories in its latest annual human rights report, stating that the measure is tantamount to Washington’s hostility towards Palestinians.

“The so-called human rights report issued by the US State Department is damning evidence of [US President Donald] Trump administration’s hostility towards the Palestinian people, their national identity and rights, as well as the universal values of human rights,” the ministry said in a statement released on Friday.

The statement noted that the report was devoid of proper political and legal context as it did not refer to the occupation of Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan Heights.

The report reaffirmed the US administration’s complicity with the Israeli agenda of colonial occupation and oppression by attempting to whitewash Israeli crimes and excuse human rights violations against Palestinian people, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry pointed out.

The ministry also highlighted Palestine’s rejection of the report for its negation of Palestinian people’s national identity and deep historic roots in their own homeland.

“This racist and hostile position reaffirms the fact that the US administration is now an accomplice in the violations of Palestinian people’s human and national rights. This makes them part of the problem, not the solution.”

The ministry then urged the international community to defend human rights and ensure they are respected.

In its so-called Country Human Rights Practices for 2018 published on Wednesday, the US State Department dropped references to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. The regime has built dozens of settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.

Any change in US language and terminology in regard to the West Bank and Gaza Strip is a cause of concern for Muslims as it reflects Washington’s intentions about supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state envisaged by interim peace agreements in the 1990s.

Analysts believe the Trump administration is turning its back on Palestinians and its international obligations towards the establishment of a Palestinian state to further serve and defend Israel’s interests. 

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