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Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’ crimes in opposition to Palestine

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Palestinian demonstrators stand in entrance of a Jewish settlement throughout a protest, in Kafr Qaddum within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution on November 13, 2020.  Picture: Reuters
  • New York-based Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of pursuing insurance policies of apartheid and persecution in opposition to Palestinians.
  • Israel’s overseas ministry rejects the claims as “both preposterous and false”.
  • Simply weeks in the past, the ICC introduced it might examine conflict crimes within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution and Gaza Strip.

JERUSALEM: Israel on Tuesday was accused by New York-based Human Rights Watch of pursuing insurance policies of apartheid and persecution in opposition to Palestinians – and in opposition to its personal Arab minority – that quantity to crimes in opposition to humanity.

Human Rights Watch printed a 213-page report which, it stated, was not geared toward evaluating Israel with apartheid-era South Africa however reasonably at assessing “whether specific acts and policies” represent apartheid as outlined beneath worldwide legislation.

Israel’s overseas ministry rejected the claims as “both preposterous and false” and accused HRW of harbouring an “anti-Israeli agenda,” saying the group had sought “for years to promote boycotts against Israel”.

Simply weeks in the past the Worldwide Prison Court docket (ICC) introduced it might examine conflict crimes within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution and Gaza Strip, with the Israeli navy and armed Palestinian teams akin to Hamas named as potential perpetrators.

In its report, HRW pointed to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian motion and seizure of Palestinian-owned land for Jewish settlement in territory occupied within the 1967 Center East conflict as examples of insurance policies it stated had been 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.

Learn extra: Israel as soon as once more demolishes Bedouin village in Palestine

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

Boycott accusations

Israeli officers fiercely object to apartheid accusations.

“The purpose of this spurious report is in no way related to human rights, but to an ongoing attempt by HRW to undermine the State of Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” Strategic Affairs Minister Michael Biton stated.

Israel’s overseas ministry stated HRW’s Israel programme was being “led by a known (BDS) supporter, with no connection to facts or reality on the ground,” referring to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions motion.

The report’s writer, HRW Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir, was expelled from Israel in 2019 over accusations he backs BDS.

Shakir denies that his HRW work and pro-Palestinian statements he made earlier than being appointed to the HRW submit in 2016 represent energetic help for BDS.

Shakir advised Reuters that HRW would ship its report back to the ICC prosecutor’s workplace, “as we normally do when we reach conclusions about the commissions of crimes that fall within the Court’s jurisdiction.”

He stated HRW additionally despatched the ICC its 2018 report about potential crimes in opposition to humanity by President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and the Islamist militant Hamas.

ICC Probe

The Worldwide Prison Court docket’s prosecutor stated in March that she would formally examine conflict crimes within the Palestinian territories, after ICC judges dominated that the courtroom had jurisdiction there.

The Palestinian Authority welcomed the ruling however Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced it as anti-Semitism and stated Israel doesn’t recognise the courtroom’s authority.

HRW referred to as on the ICC prosecutor to “investigate and prosecute individuals credibly implicated” in apartheid and persecution.

Learn extra: Blow for Israel: Worldwide Prison Court docket guidelines it has jurisdiction in Palestinian territories

HRW additionally stated Israel’s 2018 “nation-state” legislation – declaring that solely Jews have the precise of self-determination within the nation – “provides a legal basis to pursue policies that favour Jewish Israelis to the detriment” of the nation’s 21% Arab minority, who recurrently complain of discrimination.

Palestinians search the West Financial institution, Gaza and East Jerusalem, areas captured within the 1967 battle, for a future state.

Below interim peace offers with Israel, Palestinians have restricted self-rule within the West Financial institution; Hamas runs Gaza. (Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Extra reporting by Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam and Stephanie van den Berg within the Hague; Modifying by Stephen Farrell and Howard Goller)

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