Global Rights Group accuses Israel of apartheid and persecution

Jerusalem (AP) —One of the world’s most famous human rights groups said on Tuesday that Israel was guilty of apartheid and persecution international crimes because of its discriminatory policies against Palestinians within its borders and occupied territories. I did.

With a radical 213-page report, New York-based Human Rights Watch is joining more and more people. commentator And Rights group Conflicts are not considered primarily as land conflicts, but as a single government in which the Palestinians, who make up about half of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, are systematically denied the basic rights granted to Jews. ing.

Israel categorically rejects its characterization, saying that the Arab minority enjoys full civil rights. Gaza, which withdrew soldiers and settlers in 2005, is seen as a hostile entity governed by Islamic extremist group Hamas, and the West Bank is seen as a conflict area subject to peace talks that collapsed more than a decade ago.

Human Rights Watch has produced a report focused on the definitions of apartheid and persecution used by the International Criminal Court. Last month, we launched an investigation into the possibility of Israeli war crimes... Israel rejects the court for prejudice.

Citing official statements and policies by Israeli leaders, the HRW said that Israel was “Jewish Israel against Palestinians” in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, coupled with “organized oppression” and “inhumane conduct.” He showed his intention to maintain human control. “

“When these three elements occur together, they become apartheid crimes,” he said.

On allegations of persecution, the group cited “serious abuse” in the occupied territories. This includes confiscation of land, systematic denial of building permits, destruction of homes, and decades of rigorous restrictions on freedom of movement and basic human rights.

The report mainly limits Palestinians to scattered outposts under Israel’s comprehensive control and, along with policies encouraging Palestinians to leave, a majority of Jews in Israel and the lands it seeks to maintain. It cites a series of policies that state that it aims to secure.

While such policies are much more stringent in the occupied territories, HRW is Israel itself, where Palestinian citizens, who make up about 20% of the population, face widespread discrimination in housing, access to land and the basics. He said it can also be found in. service.

From the early days of the peace process in the 1990s to the Obama era, Omar Shakir, the author of the report, said that “it was enough to question whether there was an intention of permanent domination.”

But with the end of the peace process.Israeli Up to one-third of the West Bank will be annexed, But never abandoned; Large-scale expansion of the village And Infrastructure linking them to IsraelPassing with; Controversial nation-state law Supporting the Jews — Many say it is no longer possible to see the current situation as temporary.

“Prominent voices have warned for years that Israeli behavior is at risk of turning into apartheid,” Shakir said. “This 213 page report shows that the threshold has been exceeded.”

Israel refused the report. Human Rights Watch is “known for having a long-standing anti-Israeli agenda,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The fictitious claims made by HRW are ridiculous and false.”

Israeli supporters have rejected apartheid’s allegations, pointing out the existence of an internationally recognized Palestinian government that controls the territory of the West Bank scattered under agreements signed in the 1990s.

Since then, Israel and the Palestinians have engaged in several peace talks, including discussions on Palestinian independence, but failed to reach a final agreement.

Eugene Kontorovich, International Law Officer at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative Israeli think tank, said Palestinians were responsible for their fate. “They chose it by rejecting the alternative,” he said.

HRW and other rights groups say that despite the existence of the Palestinian Autonomous Government, Israel has comprehensive control over almost every aspect of Palestinian life in both the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel has exclusive control over the West Bank, its borders, and 60% of the airspace, imposing restrictions on movement and residence. About 500,000 Jewish settlers on the west bank of the Jordan River have full Israeli citizenship, and 2.5 million Palestinians on this territory live under the military junta.

Israel’s successful coronavirus vaccination campaign provided settlers with free shots, showing disparities, Mostly denied by their Palestinian neighbors..

In Gaza, the Israeli blockade imposed after Hamas seized power left two million Palestinians trapped in the coast and collapsed the economy. Israel, like neighboring Egypt, imposes strict restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza.

The agreement reached in the 1990s was temporary until a historic peace agreement was reached to establish a Palestinian state on most of the Israeli-occupied territories of the 1967 West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. It was a thing. But this kind of agreement seems to be far more out of reach than at any point in the last three decades.

Israel is dominated by right-wing political parties that oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. Neither the Palestinian government nor Gaza, rivals on the West Bank, are commanding a national movement that could make major concessions, even if Israel were willing to do the same.

Many conclude that a negotiated two-state solution, which is still widely accepted internationally as the only way to resolve a dispute, will never occur.

Instead of focusing on maps and borders, they seek equal rights for Jews and Palestinians in one bilateral state, coalition, or other arrangement.

Kontorovich expressed general criticism of Israel, accusing HRW of unfairly selecting and trying to outlaw Israel.

“Why do you say it’s apartheid? Why don’t you say that Israel has discriminatory policies that we don’t like?” He said. “What do you do for discriminatory policy? You change policy …. What do you do with apartheid regime? You have to replace it. “

Human Rights Watch has not taken a position on what the final agreement should look like, but states that any attempt to resolve a dispute must be aware of the reality of the field. ..

“The fundamental problem is structural oppression and discrimination,” Shakir said. “We need to address the abuse of rights and then create a situation where there may be political solutions that all parties can reach.”

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