Amnesty: Israel committing crime of apartheid against Palestinians

Amnesty: Israel committing crime of apartheid against Palestinians

Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians, human rights organisation Amnesty International has said for the first time – joining the ranks of a growing number of Palestinian, Israeli and international NGOs.

A new 211-page report titled Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity documents massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, the forcible transfer of Palestinian people from their land, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians.

The report concludes that this system of oppression and domination against the Palestinian people amounts to apartheid as defined under international law in the Rome Statute and the Apartheid Convention.

US-headquartered NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) previously reached the same conclusion in a major report published in April 2021. Israeli NGO B’Tselem today welcomed the Amnesty report as “a major addition to previous reports on the subject and marks a new consensus recognising the fact that Israel employs a regime of Jewish supremacy between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea”.

Amnesty has called for a drastic change in the international community’s approach to the human rights crisis in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in light of the scale and seriousness of the violations documented in its report.

It is calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider the crime of apartheid in its current investigation in the OPT and calls on all states to exercise universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice.

Agnès Callamard, secretary-general of Amnesty International, said: “Our report reveals the true extent of Israel’s apartheid regime. Whether they live in Gaza, East Jerusalem, Hebron or Israel itself, Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group and systematically deprived of their rights.

“We found that Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amount to apartheid. The international community has an obligation to act.

“For Palestinians, the difficulty of travelling within and in and out of the OPT is a constant reminder of their powerlessness. Their every move is subject to the Israeli military’s approval, and the simplest daily task means navigating a web of violent control.

“There is no possible justification for a system built around the institutionalised and prolonged racist oppression of millions of people.

“Apartheid has no place in our world, and states which choose to make allowances for Israel will find themselves on the wrong side of history. Governments who continue to supply Israel with arms and shield it from accountability at the UN are supporting a system of apartheid, undermining the international legal order, and exacerbating the suffering of the Palestinian people.

“The international community must face up to the reality of Israel’s apartheid, and pursue the many avenues to justice which remain shamefully unexplored.

“Israel must dismantle the apartheid system and start treating Palestinians as human beings with equal rights and dignity. Until it does, peace and security will remain a distant prospect for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Share icon
Share this article: