The Russell Tribunal on Palestine has found that Israel’s practices against the Palestinian people are in violation of the prohibition of apartheid under the international law.
After two days of proceedings, the Tribunal and its panel of jurists have determined that Israel is an apartheid regime with an institutionalized system of domination as recognized under international law, Press TV’s correspondent Hassen Seria reported on Monday from Cape Town, South Africa.
The Tribunal declares that although the Palestinians living “under colonial military rule in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are subject to a particularly aggravated form of apartheid,” the apartheid system extends to Israeli treatment of Palestinian citizens within Israel, and that Tel Aviv’s “rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they reside, collectively amounts to a single integrated regime of apartheid.”
The Tribunal has urged Israel to dismantle this system and called for the international community to put pressure on the occupying force through sanctions and severing ties with Tel Aviv. It wants the UN General Assembly to list banks, companies, organizations and other corporations which insist on supporting Israel as well.
While the sessions were underway, the Tribunal’s website was hacked. Experts have described this as a precision attack. At the same time, Israeli Knesset (parliament) instituted action to have an Arab member of Knesset, Haneen Zoabi, stripped of her citizenship because she had testified in Cape Town.
Zoabi told Press TV that Israel views every move for democracy as an attack on its racist system.
She stated, "We are demanding Israel to stop this racist system and to recognize equal rights for the Palestinians because it is our homeland; we didn’t immigrate to Israel; it is Israel that immigrated to us.”
Zoabi added that even when we are struggling for equality, we are actually compromising because we are the indigenous people and we are asking immigrants to give us equal rights!
Considering the threat to Zoabi, the Tribunal has delivered a letter to the South African government asking it to ensure no reprisals will be made by the Israeli regime against those who testified in South Africa.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) was formed in March 2009 to promote and sustain initiatives in support of the rights of the Palestinian people. The RToP is a part of the Russell Tribunal, also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal or Russell-Sartre Tribunal, that was a public body organized by British philosopher Bertrand Russell and hosted by French philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre.