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Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’ crimes against Palestinians

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign has praised the publication of a new report by Human Rights Watch which accuses Israel of pursuing policies of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians that amount to crimes against humanity.

The 213-page report, entitled ‘A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution’, was not aimed at comparing Israel with apartheid-era South Africa but rather at assessing “whether specific acts and policies” constitute apartheid as defined under international law.

In the report, Human Rights Watch pointed to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement and seizure of Palestinian-owned land for Jewish settlement in territory occupied in the 1967 Middle East war as examples of policies it said were ‘crimes of apartheid and persecution.’

“Across Israel and the Palestinian territories, Israeli authorities have pursued an intent to maintain domination over Palestinians by exercising control over land and demographics for the benefit of Jewish Israelis,” the report says.

“On this basis, the report concludes that Israeli officials have committed the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution,” as defined under the 1973 Apartheid Convention and the 1998 Rome Statute.

Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign Chairperson Fatin Al Tamimi welcomed the report, stating:

“Human Rights Watch is to be commended for publishing such a scrupulously forensic report, which echoes the points we Palestinians have been making for decades.

“What the report makes clear is that the oppressive situation Israel imposes upon the Palestinian people is neither accidental nor temporary, but rather it is calculated, systematic and permanent.”

“In particular we welcome the report’s recommendations for action, aimed at national, international and supranational governments and institutions.

“In the IPSC we have long argued that there must be a political and economic price attached to Israel’s systematic oppression of Palestinians and denial of their rights, so to see such clear calls for concrete international actions and sanctions is refreshing.

“We will certainly be pushing for Ireland to act on these recommendations, as will a great many people in Ireland.”

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