Israel faulted for severing Jerusalem from Palestinians in Red Cross document: report

The Associated Press
Published: May 15, 2007

JERUSALEM: A confidential document of the International Committee of the Red Cross accuses Israel of violating international humanitarian laws in annexed east Jerusalem, isolating Palestinians there from the West Bank and preventing them from getting permanent residency, according to a report published Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Red Cross in Jerusalem, Bernard Barrett, confirmed the accuracy of the New York Times report. But he said he could not release the document since it was confidential. The document was released in February to the parties involved, Barrett said.

An Israeli spokesman said the document it did not take into consideration that Israel had offered citizenship to Palestinian residents in east Jerusalem when it annexed the sector of the city after capturing it in the 1967 Mideast war. Most of those Palestinians refused to take Israeli citizenship.

Palestinian officials did not immediately return calls requesting comment.

The Red Cross found that Israel's separation barrier with the West Bank, Jewish settlements outside Jerusalem and a thick network of Israeli roads prevent the free movement of Palestinians living in the city and nearby West Bank communities, according to the Times.