Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1986

In the course of the war of June 1967, Israel occupied the
West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip,
and the Sinai Peninsula. As a result of the Peace Treaty
between Egypt and Israel, the Sinai Peninsula was restored to
Egypt. No peace treaty has, however, been concluded between
Israel and its other neighboring countries. The West Bank and
Gaza remain under military government. Israel regards East
Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as subject to Israeli law,
jurisdiction, and administration.
The United States holds the view that Israel is an occupying
power in these territories and, therefore, that its
administration is subject to the Hague regulations of 1907 and
the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention concerning the protection of
civilian populations under military occupation.
Israel denies the applicability of the Fourth Geneva
Convention to the West Bank and Gaza, but states that it
voluntarily observes most of the Convention's provisions in
these areas. Major differences have arisen in regard to the
applicability of these provisions in East Jerusalem and the
Golan Heights, to the introduction of civilian settlers, and
to collective punishment. Israel enforces Jordanian law in
the West Bank and British Mandatory regulations in the Gaza
Strip, although it has issued military orders significantly
altering or overriding portions of these laws.
The complex human rights situation in the occupied territories
reflects the fact that, in the absence of a peace settlement,
the territories remain under military administration and there
is friction between occupation authorities and the Palestinian
population. Among the signs of friction are active resistance
to the occupation, including episodes of violence, sometimes
encouraged by outside extremist groups. Friction also arises
from security measures taken by Israel to counter terrorism
and other perceived threats to security. Other causes of
friction are the introduction of civilian Israeli settlers,
advocacy of annexation or permanent control of the territories
by some Israeli political figures, as well as the refusal of
the main Palestinian organizations to recognize Israel or to
promote a negotiated peace. Limits on economic enterprise,
especially that which would compete with Israeli products, are
also a source of contention.
Israel implements its policy in the territories through a Civil
Administration created in 1981 under Defense Ministry control.
It is staffed by military and civilian personnel. Israel's
national police, border police, security service, and the
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) all have a role in administration.
The national police, which includes local Palestinians in its
ranks, is seldom criticized. However, there are frequent
complaints by West Bankers and Gazans about the actions of the
other organizations.
The Civil Administration has sought to reshape local politics,
notably by trying to reduce the influence of the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) and other dissident Palestinian
organizations. Israel has also discouraged political
organizations beyond the municipal levels. It permitted
municipal elections in 1972 and 1976, but after 1980, citing
security concerns, postponed further elections and eventually
removed many elected and appointed officials. Threats by
extremists have also inhibited the development of moderate
Palestinian leaders; even those who have expressed support
for the PLO have been intimidated for cooperating with Israel.
Since 1985, Israel has supported the installation of non-PLO
Palestinian mayors who have local and Jordanian support in
place of Israeli military appointees.
Israel has allowed the establishment of four universities in
the West Bank and one in Gaza where none existed before 1967,
but has restricted student and faculty activities which it
sees as threatening security. Israel permits criticism of its
policies by the East Jerusalem-based Arabic press but often
censors articles and editorials and restricts circulation of
Arabic publications in the West Bank and Gaza. One Arabic
newspaper and one magazine were closed in 1986. Broad
restrictions on speech and assembly apply in the occupied
territories .
Arab and Jewish residents continued to suffer from violent
acts in 1986, although at a lower level than in 1985. PLO
factions and various PLO dissident groups claimed
responsibility for nearly all violent acts against the IDF,
Israeli civilians, or Palestinians who disagreed with such
groups. Much of the violence appears, however, to have been
spontaneous and local.
Arab complaints of settler violence continued throughout the
year, including unauthorized armed patrols, physical
harassment, and disruption of legally authorized political
meetings. Two IDF officers were convicted in 1986 for violence
against Arabs, and one member of a Jewish underground
organization was extradited from the United States and
sentenced to prison. In 1986 the President commuted sentences
imposed on six members of this organization, who had been
convicted in 1985 and had served in prison for one half to
two thirds of 2- to 4-year sentences.
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including
Freedom from:
a. Political Killing
Political killing is not condoned by Israel. However, there
have been deaths and injuries as a result of both terrorist
acts and IDF security measures.
Attacks by Arabs took the lives of at least 1 IDF soldier,
4 Israeli civilians in the West Bank and Gaza (in addition to
4 who were killed in Israel) and 3 Arabs, while at least 9 IDF
soldiers, 37 Jewish civilians, and 4 Arabs were wounded. In
March the appointed mayor of Nablus was assassinated. The Abu
Nidal group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility, but no one had been
arrested for the crime as of the end of 1986. In October,
1 Israeli civilian was killed, 67 Israeli civilians and
soldiers were injured, and 2 Arabs were injured by a
handgrenade attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The
PLO claimed responsibility.
In November an Israeli student was knifed to death near a
Jewish religious school in the Arab quarter of the old city of
Jerusalem. Three Palestinians were arrested shortly after the
incident and later sentenced to life imprisonment for
committing the murder. They were linked to the PFLP. The
killing sparked anti-Arab demonstrations and vandalism which
continued for several weeks. In December an elderly Israeli
was stabbed and wounded in the same area.
At least 7 unarmed Arabs were killed in 1986 and more than 29
were wounded in incidents involving IDF soldiers enforcing
security regulations. Two of the seven killed were students
at Bir Zeit University where IDF soldiers opened fire on
demonstrators. During the same week two Palestinian boys,
14 and 12 years old, were shot and killed and others were
wounded by gunfire in separate incidents near the Balata
refugee camp. In October a Palestinian student was shot and
wounded by security forces at Bethlehem University during an
antioccupation demonstration. Israeli authorities stated that
Palestinian demonstrators had been throwing rocks and bottles
and that the IDF acted in self-defense in these incidents.
However, it appears that the deaths could have been avoided by
use of nonlethal crowd control measures. The IDF limited its
use of lethal force in subsequent disturbances linked to the
Bir Zeit and Balata incidents.
In other incidents, two missing Palestinians were found dead
at the sites of explosions. Palestinians claimed they were
killed by Israeli settlers; the authorities said they died as
a result of accidental explosions of their own bombs. One
Palestinian woman was killed when, according to the IDF, she
attacked a soldier. Palestinians claimed she accidentally
fell on the soldier and was killed by another soldier, who
b. Disappearance
Israeli authorities neither sponsor nor condone disappearances.
c. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or
Torture is forbidden by Israeli law and Israeli authorities say
they do not condone torture. Israeli border and national
policemen have been convicted of abusive force against Arab
prisoners, and the Israeli Supreme Court has at times ordered
the withdrawal from evidence of confessions found to have been
coerced. Palestinians complain of widespread and systematic
mistreatment. They assert that nearly all convictions in
security cases are based on confessions, that attorneys are
normally not allowed to see clients until they have confessed,
and that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
is denied access to prisoners for a prescribed period. A 1986
Amnesty International report alleged widespread physical
mistreatment of security detainees, specifically citing the
case of Adnan Mansour Ghanem, who was allegedly beaten severely
before being deported. The Israeli judge at Ghanem 's
deportation trial noted physical evidence of beating.
d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile
Persons arrested for common crimes in the occupied territories
are usually provided the opportunity for bail, access to an
attorney, and a clear statement of charges, although these
rights are sometimes delayed. Individuals may be held in
administrative detention without formal charges for up to 18
days. The normal detention period after charges are filed is
60 days before trial. This can be extended indefinitely by a
Supreme Court judge for 3-month periods.
Persons held for security reasons are not allowed bail and
initially are denied access to counsel or other outside
contact. Officials sometimes have declined to confirm
detentions to consular officers. Under Israeli law, denial of
notification of arrest to a third party can be extended for up
to 15 days. Many who are released without charges claim
ignorance of the reasons for their detention. Detainees are
prevented from seeing their attorneys for 18 days, but access
may be denied indefinitely for security reasons or because
granting access may impede the investigation.
Arabs are often detained, sometimes in sizable numbers, after
terrorist incidents or demonstrations. Such detentions
usually do not result in formal charges and are not prolonged.
Persons arrested during demonstrations are tried in military
courts on security grounds. Security forces can and do detain
individuals without prompt notification of their relatives and
apparently without the use of warrants.
The use of 6-month administrative detention and deportation
continued in 1986. The United States has indicated that these
measures are inconsistent with the Fourth Geneva Convention.
During 1986, at least 32 Palestinians were placed under
administrative detention, which requires confirmation by a
military judge. The hearing is confidential and the detainee
and counsel can be denied access to evidence cited as grounds
for the detention if the judge determines that confidentiality
is required for security reasons. This can be challenged in
the Supreme Court .
At least one Palestinian who had been released in a 1985
exchange of prisoners held in Israel for Israeli military
personnel captured in Lebanon was deported by Israel, which
claimed he was not entitled to residency status. The ICRC,
which had helped negotiate the original exchange, objected.
Israel maintained that those who had reentered Israel illegally
had forfeited their residency rights; the ICRC disagreed.
In November the Palestinian editor of the Jerusalem newspaper,
Asha'ab, was ordered deported because of his alleged
association with Fatah, the PLCs largest faction. Israel did
not claim that he was personally involved in terrorism. The
order initially was appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court,
which directed the authorities to justify their action. The
appeal was later withdrawn and the editor deported. At least
eight other Palestinians were deported for alleged security
offenses. Several individuals who appealed the deportation
orders to the Supreme Court withdrew their appeals when the
Court refused, on security grounds, their attorneys' request
to review the evidence against them.
In 1986 at least 62 Arabs were placed under new or renewed
orders restricting them to their towns for 3 months or more.
Such orders do not require formal charges and are made by
regional military commanders without judicial review. Many of
those affected are political activists, outspoken critics of
Israeli policies, or PLO supporters.
There is no forced labor in the occupied territories.
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
Jordanian law, as modified by Israeli military orders, remains
in force in the West Bank for most criminal and civil matters.
British Mandatory law, as modified, prevails in Gaza. The
application of these laws, except in security cases, land
acquisition, or where jurisdiction has been transferred by
military order, has been left in the hands of an independent
Arab judiciary. Residents of the occupied territories accused
of nonsecurity offenses receive public trials in local courts.
Israeli law applies in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Arabs suspected of security offenses, which are not precisely
defined under Israeli law, are normally tried in Israeli
military courts with a military judge presiding, and are
defended by counsel. However, Israeli residents of the
occupied territories accused of security offenses are tried by
the Israeli district court closest to their residence or the
scene of their crime.
Most military trials are public, except for some cases
involving serious security offenses, but many trials involve
the use of secret evidence, which neither the accused nor his
attorney can see. At the request of the defendent, the Supreme
Court will review whether sufficient security grounds exist for
keeping the evidence secret. Consular officers are normally
able to attend court proceedings involving foreign citizens.
Orders of the Civil Administration may be appealed to the
Israeli Supreme Court. Nonjudicial administrative orders of
the military government may be appealed to area military
commanders and the Supreme Court. Military court verdicts
are not appealable, except on procedural grounds to the
Supreme Court, although the area commander may exercise the
right of commutation.
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or
Under occupation regulations, military authorities can and do
enter private homes and institutions without prior judicial
approval in pursuit of security objectives. A military order
permits soldiers to search persons or premises on the West Bank
without warrant on the suspicion that a person or organization
may possess a proscribed publication.
In 1986 at least 15 houses of West Bank and Gaza residents
accused of involvement in security incidents were demolished
and 21 were sealed. Ten individual rooms were also sealed.
Such action is usually taken before a suspect is tried.
Houses or rooms of Israeli suspects or convicts in security
offenses in the occupied territories were not demolished or
Commercial activity is often interrupted after violent
incidents by sealing off areas for searches or by extended
curfews. Nine shops in and adjacent to a building housing
Jewish settlers in Hebron were cordoned off by the IDF after
the owners refused to sell their shops. Patrons must be
searched by soldiers before and after entering the area of the
shops. The shopowners have filed an appeal with the Supreme
Court .
Most Palestinians believe that mail and telephone services in
the West Bank and Gaza are monitored. Individuals can be and
are questioned on their political views by security officials.
Such inquiries have in some cases involved overnight detention.
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
Freedom of expression is generally respected, subject to
restrictions which are deemed by Israeli authorities as
necessary on security grounds. Proscribed acts include
displaying the Palestinian flag, its colors, or Palestinian
nationalist slogans, and publicly expressing support for the
PLO. The Arabic press, most of which is located in East
Jerusalem, is outspokenly critical of Israeli policies and
actions. Arrests, prison sentences, land seizures, and other
politically sensitive stories are generally reported, but
editorials and articles are often censored in whole or in part.
All items in Jerusalem's Arabic ]_. jess must be submitted to the
censor for prior review, and at least 56 editorials and
commentaries were censored in 1986. Hebrew newspapers need
submit only articles on military security matters to the
censors. Censorship may be challenged by appeal to the chief
censor .
Materials licensed to be published in East Jerusalem are free
to circulate throughout Jerusalem, but need a further license
for distribution in the West Bank and Gaza. One Palestinian
newspaper and one magazine have been denied such licenses.
Military orders forbid the printing or publishing of
politically significant material without a license. Political
significance is not defined.
A permit must be obtained for every publication imported into
the occupied territories. Arabic educational materials,
periodicals, and books originating outside Israel are censored
or banned for anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli content and for the
encouragement of Palestinian nationalism. Since 1984 the
number of books explicitly prohibited has been reduced from
1,300 to 350. Possession of banned materials by West Bank or
Gaza Arabs is a criminal offense. Usually, possession of
illegal publications is one of a series of charges levied
against individuals accused of security offenses. Restrictions
of this kind are usually not applied to Israeli residents.
In August the High Court of Justice upheld permanent closure
of two Arab Jerusalem newspapers on the grounds that they were
funded and operated by the PFLP, which has claimed
responsibility for terrorist actions in Israel and the occupied
territories. The court rejected arguments by the newspapers'
attorney that freedom of expression should protect the
newspapers. The U.S. -based Committee to Protect Journalists
criticized the decision, as well as travel restrictions placed
on several Jerusalem Arab journalists, one of whom was
prevented from traveling to the U.S. to address an Amnesty
International conference.
In August the authorities closed the weekly newspaper
Al-Mawqif for 3 months after its presses were used to print
pamphlets deemed threatening to security. They closed the
newspaper Al-Fajr for 3 days in June and 1 week in October,
and held up the distribution of all Arabic newspapers for
3 days in July and for several hours during one day in August.
They also closed the Hakawati Theatre in East Jerusalem, a
nationalist ensemble company, four times for periods of 12 to
24 hours, citing security reasons.
In November a teacher, who had been involved in a public
opinion poll of Palestinians living in the occupied
territories which showed strong support for the PLO, was
ordered by the Israeli authorities to cease teaching at
An-Najah University because of his alleged association with
PLO members .
Arabic-language radio and television programs from Jordan,
Syria, and other Arab countries, including broadcasts of the
Voice of Palestine, are received in the occupied territories
without jamming.
Foreign journalists have not reported difficulties in meeting
inhabitants of the occupied territories. As with reports by
the local press, all reports filed by the foreign press are
subject to military censorship.
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
The Israelis have permitted a wide range of labor,
professional, and fraternal groups organized before 1967 to
continue to function. Professional associations are active
and often take public stands on political issues. No political
parties or other groups viewed as primarily political are
permitted. Public gatherings of more than 10 people require
permission, which is often withheld from both Arab and Israeli
groups on grounds of public order.
There are approximately 40 labor unions in the occupied
territories, grouped into 2 rival federations. Fifteen new
labor unions have been permitted to register in the West Bank
since the beginning of the occupation, but over 100
applications have been turned down and several Arab unions have
been disbanded by Israeli authorities for alleged security
concerns .
West Bank unions are generally small and confined to urban
workers in skilled craft trades. Israeli authorities must
approve all candidates for union elections but such elections
are held without other interference. Membership in the
Histadrut, the Israeli national labor organization, is open to
Arab workers from East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
In 1985 Israel first refused permission to form a union of
Arab lawyers on the West Bank but then ordered the formation
of such a group under the authority of the Civil
Administration. Local lawyers have appealed to the Supreme
Court to eliminate this order. Strikes are legal, except for
political reasons. One union office in Nablus was closed for
6 months on security grounds and the head of the office was
placed under administrative detention. Some union activities,
such as cultural exhibitions or May Day festivities, were
prohibited on security grounds.
Israel permitted several settler groups to hold political
rallies in the occupied territories during 1986. The Israeli
group Peace Now was also allowed to hold a rally in Hebron,
and the Tehiya Party was permitted to hold its party conference
in the Kiryat Arba settlement outside Hebron. Israeli settlers
attempted unsuccessfully to stop the Peace Now rally by
erecting illegal road blocks, physically and verbally harassing
participants, and assaulting some members of the Israeli
Knesset. Although several of those involved were arrested,
none was brought to trial.
Israeli authorities have closed universities and colleges at
times on security grounds. The Hebron polytechnic was closed
for 1 month in April following a demonstration protesting the
Tehiya party convention being held in Hebron. An-Najah
University was closed temporarily in January because the
authorities said that they were concerned that recently held
student elections would lead to disturbances. The authorities
also closed An-Najah twice in December on security grounds and
Bethlehem University for 3 weeks in November on the same basis.
One campus of Bir Zeit University was closed for most of
December following violent clashes between students and
security forces, and classes were disrupted by roadblocks on
several other occasions in 1986. Roadblocks also hampered
classes at Bethlehem University. These measures at times went
beyond what might be reasonably justified on security grounds.
At times university officials also called off classes because
of concerns that student protests would occur .
c. Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religious practice exists in the occupied
territories. No group or sect is banned on religious grounds.
Muslim and Christian holy days are observed without hindrance,
and Muslims and Christians operate a variety of private schools
and institutions. There has been no reported interference with
the publication or distribution of religious publications.
Israel protects Muslim and Christian holy places and usually
assures freedom of access to them. On occasion, the
authorities have denied both Arab and Jewish groups access to
religious sites on religious or security grounds. In January
and February 1986, some members of the Israeli Knesset created
disturbances on the Temple Mount, which is the third holiest
site in Islam and is the former site of the Jewish Temple.
Israeli government spokesmen criticized the disturbances, and
there were no changes in the system under which Islamic
authorities administer the area.
Israel facilitates travel into Jordan for Muslims making the
pilgrimage (the hajj) to Mecca by expediting bridge clearance
procedures and extending the hours of operation of the bridges.
In 1986 several thousand pilgrims from the occupied territories
made the hajj. At least 20 were refused permission on security
grounds .
d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation
Freedom of movement is generally unrestricted for Arabs within
the occupied territories, but some restrictions exist.
Approximately 80,000 Arabs travel daily to Israel to work.
All residents over 16 must carry identity documents and show
them to security officials whenever requested. Arab vehicles
are often stopped for security checks, sometimes at
unauthorized roadblocks by Israeli settlers. Palestinians
resident in the territories need permits to remain overnight
in Israel; West Bankers and Gazans are generally forbidden to
remain in Jerusalem after midnight, but the rule is not always
rigorously enforced.
Following violent incidents, curfews lasting several hours to a
day are often imposed in the surrounding area. At least four
West Bank towns and five refugee camps were placed under curfew
at least once during 1986.
Most inhabitants of the occupied territories are permitted to
travel abroad and many thousands do so each year. Exit visas
are required. Many residents of the West Bank are Jordanian
citizens and use Jordanian passports for travel to or through
Jordan. Israel issues laissez passers to residents of the
occupied territories to facilitate foreign travel from ports
and airports in Israel after a security check. In some cases,
restrictions are imposed on reentry. Travel bans are also
imposed on some persons suspected of, but not charged with,
antioccupation activities. Bans on the travel of residents of
particular areas have been used by Israeli security forces as
a form of collective punishment. In October, following the
hand-grenade attack in Jerusalem in which 1 Israeli was killed
and 70 injured, a total travel ban was imposed on all West
Bankers crossing the bridge. The ban was partially lifted
after 1 week but remained in force for all residents under the
age of 40 until mid-December. Despite the formal state of war
between Israel and Jordan, two-way travel between the West Bank
and Jordan is permitted. Palestinians returning from Jordan,
as well as other Arabs and persons of Arab descent, regardless
of citizenship, are all subject to search, and many complain of
unnecessarily harsh or humiliating treatment and harassment.
Israel permitted all members of the Jordanian Parliament
resident in the West Bank to travel freely to attend
parliamentary sessions during 1986.
There are no obstacles to emigration. Israel sometimes
refuses to renew the laissez passers of West Bank residents
who study or work abroad for a period of time on the ground
that they have abandoned their residence, even though they
have not acquired foreign citizenship. Such persons are
permitted to return to the West Bank as tourists only, and are
sometimes denied any right to return. Entry permits or
residency rights are often denied to spouses and children
solely because the head of the household has emigrated.
Israel also has not permitted the return of many former West
Bank residents who were not present in the territories, for
whatever reason, at the time a census was taken in late 1967
by Israeli authorities.
Gazans normally do not recjuire prior approval for travel to
the West Bank. Under special arrangements concluded between
Israel and Egypt, thousands of Gazans regularly cross into
Egypt, particularly to work or visit relatives in the divided
city of Rafah. Israel permits Golan Heights Druze to return
after attending school in Syria; it has not, however, permitted
the return of other Syrians who fled or were expelled from the
area during and after the 1967 war.
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens
to Change Their Government
There is no regional self-government in the territories. At
the municipal level, Arab civil servants, institutions, and
municipal officials operate under the military government.
Most villages retain their traditional leadership. No
Palestinian political parties or overtly political
organizations are permitted.
Municipal elections were last held in 1976. A few elected
mayors have continued to hold office. Others were dismissed
and replaced by Israeli officials. In December 1985, a
Palestinian, the last duly elected deputy mayor and elected
head of the Chamber of Commerce, was appointed mayor of Nablus,
but he was later assassinated, at which time his deputy took
over as acting mayor. In October 1986, Arab mayors were
appointed to replace Israeli officials in Ramallah, Al-Bireh,
and Hebron. With these appointments, all major West Bank
municipalities now have Arab mayors. Bethlehem and Tulkarm
are the only major towns governed by elected Arab mayors. Arab
residents of East Jerusalem are permitted and encouraged to
vote in municipal elections. Approximately 20 percent did so
in the 1983 elections.
Most Arab residents of the West Bank are Jordanian citizens
and as such are represented by 2 senators and 30 members of
the Jordanian Parliament. Although Jordan has held regular
parliamentary elections, Israel has not permitted the holding
of similar elections in the West Bank since 1967.
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations
of Human Rights
A variety of local groups, both Israeli and Palestinian, are
concerned with human rights issues. Publications and
statements from these groups are allowed to circulate in the
occupied territories. Arab and Israeli human rights groups
increased their coordination in 1986.
Israel normally permits international human rights groups to
visit the occupied territories, and does not interfere with
their investigations. A Palestinian field investigator for
Law in the Service of Man, the West Bank affiliate of the
International Commission of Jurists, who was placed under
administrative arrest in September 1985 on security grounds,
was released in March 1986.
Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion,
Language, or Social Status
Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to
laws and regulations of the Israeli military government.
However, Jewish settlers residing in these areas are subject
to Israeli law, jurisdiction, and administration, as applied
to Israeli nationals residing in Israel. Therefore, on a
broad range of issues, including the right to due process,
acquisition and loss of residency, freedom of movement, land
use, and access to social services, Palestinians in the West
Bank and Gaza are treated differently and usually less
favorably than Jewish settlers in the same areas. Israel has
declared that Israeli law applies to all inhabitants of East
Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
The use of land by Israeli authorities for Israeli settlements,
military purposes, road projects, and other means by which
access is restricted significantly affects the lives and
economic activities of Palestinians. Palestinians are excluded
from the Higher Planning Council which draws up plans for land
use in the occupied territories. In 1971 the military
government issued an order transferring authority from local
municipal and village councils to the Higher Planning Council.
Government planning bodies, military officials, and Israeli
settlers are represented on the Council.
The authorities have discriminated against the Palestinian
population in the use of a substantial portion of the land in
the occupied territories which is under government control.
Approximately 5 percent of the land to which Palestinian access
has been restricted has been turned over to Jewish Israeli
settlers for residential, agricultural, or industrial use.
Israeli settlements receive large annual subsidies in various
forms from the Government of Israel and Israelis receive
inducements to take up residence in the settlements.
Indigenous Palestinians have not been offered the use of land
under Israeli control on the same basis as Israeli settlers,
nor have they received special assistance from the Israeli
authorities to encourage them to remain in the territories.
During the early and midsummer, approximately 100 American
citizens of Palestinian origin arriving as visitors had their
passports impounded at Israeli points of entry enroute to the
occupied territories, were given visas of shorter duration
than normal, and several were made to post bonds of $2,000 to
$3,000. Israeli authorities asserted that this was done only
in cases in which entrants were expected to stay indefinitely
and was not intended to be discriminatory. The practice
appeared to end by late summer.
The West Bank is served by four universities, one college, one
community college, and a variety of other educational
institutions, all established or upgraded since the beginning
of the Israeli occupation. However, none of the universities
receives financial support or other assistance from the
occupation authorities. Palestinian teachers at educational
institutions in the occupied territories must receive
certificates from the Israeli authorities, the issuance of
which is based on security and political criteria, as well as
professional competence.
The Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan Heights consists
of 1,295 square kilometers, and has an Arab population of
about 15,000, mostly Druze and a small percentage of
Alawites. Approximately 7,500 Israeli settlers live in some
32 settlements in the Golan Heights. Druze village councils
have complained that they do not receive sufficient funding to
provide minimal municipal services, and a third of the
estimated 4,000 school children are reported to be studying in
substandard classrooms.
Urban West Bankers are increasingly sophisticated in their
social attitudes, including toward the role of women, but the
rural majority continues to hold more traditional social
values. There are no legal or administrative prohibitions on
the employment of women in the occupied territories, although
traditional cultural mores and family commitments limit most
to homemaking. Most Palestinian women holding jobs outside
their homes reside and work in urban areas. Employment of
women is concentrated in service industries, education, and
health services, with a small number working in journalism,
law, and other professions.
Although women legally have equal access to public education,
custom and family pressures limit the number of women in West
Bank schools. Even so, female school enrollment is quite high
by Middle Eastern standards. A little over 45 percent of the
primary and secondary school students are female. While female
enrollment at the postsecondary level varies between roughly
30 to 45 percent at coeducational West Bank colleges and
universities, a number of teacher and vocational training
centers are all male or all female.
There is a wide range of women's cooperative groups for health
care, child care, handicraft production, vocational training.
and other services. The West Bank-wide Society for the
Preservation of the Family is active in supporting women's
needs .
Working conditions in the West Bank are governed by the
Jordanian labor law of 1960 which provides for a maximum
workweek of 48 hours, except for hotel, food service, and
cinema employees whose workweek is 54 hours. There is no
minimum wage. Child labor is not permitted. Histadrut, the
Israeli national labor organization, has taken steps to assure
that working conditions for Golan Druze and residents of East
Jerusalem are comparable to those of Israelis.