Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that Israel is committing the crime of “apartheid” by seeking to maintain Jewish “domination” over Palestinians and its own Arab population, an explosive allegation fiercely denounced by Israel.
Currently under investigation by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, Israel blasted HRW’s accusations as “preposterous and false”, accusing the New York-based group of having “a long-standing anti-Israeli agenda”.
Breaking: @hrw finds that Israeli authorities are committing crimes against humanity of apartheid & persecution. Thread w findings in 213pg report on Israel's rule of Palestinians. Time to recognize reality for what it is, find #Courage2FightApartheid 1/27 https://t.co/1jBqM9VmLr pic.twitter.com/V4gtBlL13J
— Omar Shakir (@OmarSShakir) April 27, 2021
HRW said its finding that Israel is “committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution” against Palestinians was based on robust sourcing including government planning materials and statements by public officials.
The 213-page report finds that the Israeli government is the “single authority” with primary control “over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea”.
Within that territory, there is “an overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians,” HRW said.
The group said its findings apply to Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, the blockaded Gaza Strip, annexed east Jerusalem as well as Arab Israelis — a term referring to Palestinians who stayed on their land following Israel’s creation in 1948.
HRW said that while apartheid was initially coined with respect to the institutional persecution of black people in South Africa, it was now a universally recognized legal term.
In a new report published today, @HRW says Israel is committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid & persecution.
It's first time that @HRW has described Israeli policies as apartheid.
Apartheid & persecution both defined in ICC's Rome Statute.https://t.co/LS1v7IyqhF
— Ben White (@benabyad) April 27, 2021
An apartheid system is defined by “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them,” according to the Apartheid Convention.
Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch, told AFP there have been warnings for years that “apartheid is around the corner”.
“I think it’s quite clear that that threshold has been crossed,” Shakir said from Jordan.
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) February 2, 2021
A US citizen, Shakir was the first foreign national deported by Israel for allegedly supporting an international boycott movement that seeks to isolate Israel, an allegation he denies.
The rights group listed sweeping movement restrictions, land confiscation, forcible population transfer, denial of residency rights and suspension of civil rights as examples of abuses “Israeli authorities have carried out… against Palestinians”.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)