(Communicated by the Justice Ministry Spokesman)

Following is the Government’s response to the report released today (Monday, 4-June-2007) by Amnesty International, entitled "Enduring Occupation: Palestinians Under Siege on the West Bank":

"Israel views with the utmost importance the safeguarding of human rights and invests abundant resources in doing so, in keeping with its commitment to values and to international law.

Amnesty’s report is one-sided, immoral, and riddled with mistakes and numerous factual and legal inaccuracies, including scant mention of Palestinian terrorism which holds non-combatants hostage, using them as human shields and camouflage.

The report does not relate – in any acceptable manner – to Israel’s right of self-defense or to its legitimate security needs, but mentions these needs only casually, without giving them their due consideration.  This approach finds clear expression in the chapter on recommendations, which includes a list of detailed recommendations for Israel and the international community, while the Palestinian Authority is merely required to implement measures to prevent terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens.

The lack of emphasis on the centrality of Palestinian terrorism and the IDF’s responsibility to protect Israeli citizens as a direct result is not reasonable and creates a deliberate distortion.

The report’s total disregard of the conduct of Palestinian terrorist organizations and of the war crimes that they perpetrate daily, when they directly and indiscriminately target civilian populations while using the local population as human shields, is another outstanding example of the significant problems embodied in the report.

Moreover, the report does not contain even a vaguely factual presentation of the initiatives taken by Israeli law-enforcement authorities, including – inter alia – the Justice, Defense and Interior ministries, and the IDF, to safeguard human rights."