Transparent ballot: No vote for Palestinians in West Bank

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An op-ed piece by Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman for B’Tselem, FIDH member organisation in Israel.

The Palphot print shop in the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron was hard at work until last week – printing 230 million voter ballots for Israel’s upcoming general elections. A media photo showed one of the employees holding an uncut sheet of ballots, with the codes for all 26 parties running for Israel’s 20th Knesset proudly on display.

Since the print shop is located in a settlement and the majority of its employees are Palestinians, it is safe to assume that some of the workers who were busy printing ballots were residents of nearby towns and villages.

They may be from Jayyus, a village that lost a large part of its farmland to the invasive and greedy route of the Separation Barrier. While the route near the village has been changed recently, it still cuts off much fertile land from its Palestinian owners. Or maybe they’re from ‘Azzun, a town where some homes were built in Area C, without a permit from the Civil Administration, and are therefore facing the threat of demolition; a town where tens of thousands of residents are collectively punished by the military for stone-throwing by some local youths.

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