Amnesty International on Tuesday called for holding Israel accountable for committing “apartheid” crimes against the Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Israel “enforces a system of oppression and domination against the Palestinian people wherever it has control over their rights,” the London-based rights group said in a press conference.
It said this Israeli system applies to the Palestinians living inside Israel, as well as those in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem.
Tuesday’s conference was held by the rights group to announce the findings of a comprehensive report about Israeli “apartheid” practices in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The report “sets out how massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system which amounts to apartheid,” Amnesty said.
These crimes, the group said, “constitute apartheid as a crime against humanity, as defined in the Rome Statute and Apartheid Convention.”
The report also read out an appeal from Amnesty International to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to put into its consideration “the crime of apartheid” in its current investigation taking place in the occupied territories.
It also called on countries from across the globe to “exercise universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice.”
As for the conditions of the Palestinians living inside Israel since 1948 and Palestinian refugees, the rights group said “Palestinians are treated as a demographic threat.”
It added: “The successive Israeli governments have considered Palestinians a demographic threat, and imposed measures to control and decrease their presence and access to land in Israel and the occupied territories.”
Amnesty noted that the Israeli scheme to create separate legal and administrative regimes within the territory “have separated Palestinian communities and segregated them from Jewish Israelis.
“Palestinians have been fragmented geographically and politically, and experience different levels of discrimination depending on their status and where they live,” it added.
But as for Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20% of the Israeli population, they, Amnesty said, are facing many forms of what it called “institutionalized discrimination.”
“In 2018, discrimination against Palestinians was crystallized in a constitutional law which, for the first time, enshrined Israel exclusively as the ‘nation state of the Jewish people’.”
It added that “the law also promotes the building of Jewish settlements and downgrades Arabic’s status as an official language.”
Tuesday’s report by Amnesty labeling Israel as an “apartheid” state comes almost a year after a similar report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch.
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