While the Israeli policymakers are preoccupied with the Iranian nuclear file, an international human rights group is about to publish a report highlighting the Israeli provocations in the occupied territories. Amnesty International has just announced to the global freedom fighters its readiness to publish a report that has been based on extensive research that explicitly exposes the Israeli apartheid policies in the occupied territories. In response, the Israeli news outlets have started a war of words, claiming that the organization is publishing false information. This comes in times of soaring human rights violations against the Palestinian population.
Again, the Israeli authorities are attacking human rights groups for publishing real information about the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. The report explicitly accuses Israel of “apartheid” and “institutionalized and systematic discrimination against Palestinians.” Amnesty said it has “concluded that Israel has perpetrated the international wrong of apartheid as a human-rights violation and a violation of public international law.”
Amnesty called on those actors to “use all political and diplomatic tools to ensure Israeli authorities implement the recommendations outlined in this report and review any cooperation and activities with Israel to ensure that these do not contribute to maintaining the system of apartheid.”
In response, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid has quickly condemned the report, saying that Amnesty is “another radical organization that echoes propaganda with no serious examination. Instead of seeking facts, it quotes lies spread by terrorist organizations.”
“Israel is not perfect, but it is a democracy committed to international law and open to scrutiny, with a free press and strong Supreme Court,” said Lapid, noting that Amnesty does not make the same accusation against Syria “an ‘apartheid state’ — a country whose government murdered half a million of its own citizens—nor Iran, or any other corrupt and murderous regime in Africa or Latin America.”
File Photo: Palestinian women wait to cross the Qalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem during Ramadan, taken on April 16, 2021. AP
The organization, in return, says it has based its findings on field research and published studies by Palestinian and Israeli organizations. In addition to that, Amnesty is not the only organization that has accused Tel Aviv of apartheid. The United Nations itself has called on Israel several times to halt its provocative policies in the occupied territories.
“The USA, the European Union, and its member states and the UK, but also those states that are in the process of strengthening their ties – such as some Arab and African states… must recognize that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid and other international crimes,” read the report
The report, titled “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity,” accuses Israel of “institutionalized segregation and discrimination against Palestinians, as a racial group, in all areas under its control amounts to a system of apartheid, and a serious violation of Israel’s human rights obligations.”
“The world is coming to the conclusion that for human beings that live in the land between the river and the sea, the levels of freedoms and rights are defined by ethnonational identity,” Salem Barahmeh, Executive Director of the Ramallah-based Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy told CNN.
Meanwhile, the international community, including the Arab League has called on Israel to halt its apartheid policies in the occupied territories. The League noted that “the Palestinians inside are an authentic part of the Palestinian Arab people, and they are with their brothers in every inch of the land of Palestine in the face of brutal aggression with the policies and practices of settlement, ethnic cleansing and apartheid.”