Amnesty International accuses Israel of ´apartheid´ crimes against Palestinians

Amnesty International has joined other human rights organizations and accused in my report issued on Tuesday Israel of committing the crime of "apartheid" against the Palestinians and treating them as an "inferior ethnic group", while Israel preceded the report by rejecting it. .


“The Israeli authorities should be held accountable for perpetrating the crime of apartheid against the Palestinians,” said the Amnesty report, which was published today.


She added, according to the Arabic version of the report, “Israel imposes a regime of oppression and domination on the Palestinian people wherever it has control over their rights. This includes Palestinians residing in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as refugees displaced in other countries.


In April 2021, Human Rights Watch, the New York-based human rights organization, accused Israel of committing two "crimes against humanity" by pursuing a policy of "apartheid" and "persecution" against the Arabs of Israel and the Palestinians.


The use of the term “apartheid” angered the Israeli authorities, which denounced the report as a “propaganda publication” unrelated to “the facts and the ground.”


Palestinian and Israeli NGOs such as B'Tselem use the term "apartheid" to refer to Israel's policies toward Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza Strip.


“Our report reveals the actual scope of the apartheid system in Israel. Whether Palestinians live in Gaza, East Jerusalem, Hebron, or Israel itself, they are treated as an inferior ethnic group and systematically denied their rights.”


Israel preempted the publication of the report by rejecting it through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And the two considered that he "absolutely denies (Israel) the right to exist."


“Amnesty was once a venerable organization that we all respect,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement, adding, “Today it is the exact opposite.”


"Instead of looking for facts, Amnesty International cites lies spread by terrorist organizations," he added.


Lapid pointed out that the state of "Israel is not perfect, but it is a democracy that adheres to international law and is open to scrutiny."


"We would have liked to have a conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs when we first called him and offered to talk to him about the report, it was in October," Agnès Callamard told AFP.


"He did not respond to our offer at the time. It is now too late to call on us not to publish the report.”


Lapid accused Amnesty International of anti-Semitism, saying, "I hate using the argument that if Israel were not a Jewish state, no one in Amnesty International would dare speak out against it, but in this case there is no other possibility."


Callamard responded that “criticizing the practices of the State of Israel is not at all a form of anti-Semitism.”


"Amnesty International stands strong against anti-Semitism and against any form of racism, and we have consistently condemned the acts of anti-Semitism as well as anti-Semitism from many leaders around the world."


World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder commented, “Israel is targeted as the only Jewish state. This biased and politicized report ignores Palestinian acts of terrorism and Israel’s obligation to defend its citizens against this same terrorism.”


Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and annexed East Jerusalem. Since then, the number of Jewish settlers in the two areas has increased, and today it stands at nearly 700,000.


Israel maintains military control over 4.7 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of restricting their movement, refusing to give them building permits, confiscating their land and denying them residency rights.


Amnesty International also urged the UN Security Council on Tuesday to impose an "embargo" on arms sales to Israel, and to impose "sanctions" on the Israeli officials "most implicated in the crime of apartheid."


Amnesty International's report comes a year after the International Criminal Court opened an investigation into "crimes against humanity" in the Palestinian territories and Israel.


It is expected that this investigation will focus in part on possible war crimes that may have been committed during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and the Israeli army.


Amnesty International called on the International Criminal Court to consider the “crime of apartheid” in the context of its current investigations in the Palestinian territories, and called on all states to exercise universal jurisdiction and to bring “perpetrators of the crimes of apartheid to justice.”



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