At long last the protective shell of lies and denials by the Israeli government bolstered by the smears and the UK’s fake antisemitism campaign has been cracked by the New York based Human Rights Watch.
The report, issued today (Tuesday) accuses Israeli officials of committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution, claiming the government enforces an overarching policy to “maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians”.
This is the first major international rights body to level such allegations. In its report issued today it said that after decades of warnings that an entrenched hold over Palestinian life could lead to apartheid, it had found that the “threshold” had been crossed.
“This is the starkest finding Human Rights Watch has reached on Israeli conduct in the 30 years we’ve been documenting abuses on the ground there,” said Omar Shakir, the group’s Israel and Palestine director. Shakir said his organisation had never before directly accused Israeli officials of crimes against humanity.Human Rights Watch
Responding to the claims, Israel’s foreign ministry accused Human Rights Watch of a “longstanding anti-Israeli agenda” and said the report was a “propaganda pamphlet” that had “no connection to facts or reality on the ground”.
“The fictional claims that HRW concocted are both preposterous and false,” it said.
The report drew on years of human rights documentation, analysis of Israeli laws, a review of government planning documents, and statements by officials.
Human Rights Watch compared policies and practices towards nearly 7 million Palestinians in the occupied territories and within Israel with those concerning roughly the same number of Jewish Israelis living in the same areas.
It concluded there was a “present-day reality of a single authority, the Israeli government … methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory.”
First used in relation to South Africa’s racist segregation against non-white citizens, apartheid – which is Afrikaans for “apartness” – is a crime against humanity under international law.
Human Rights Watch said that inside Israel – where about a fifth of the 9 million citizens are Palestinians – and in the occupied territories, authorities had sought to maximise the land available for Jewish communities and concentrate most Palestinians in dense population centres.
“The authorities have adopted policies to mitigate what they have openly described as a demographic ‘threat’ from Palestinians,” it said, referencing concerns expressed by Israeli politicians that a majority Palestinian population would endanger the Jewish state. “In Jerusalem, for example, the government’s plan for the municipality … sets the goal of ‘maintaining a solid Jewish majority in the city’ and even specifies the demographic ratios it hopes to maintain.”
It said Israeli authorities “systematically discriminate against Palestinians”.Human Rights Watch
This was most extreme in the occupied territories, it said, including the West Bank, which Israel captured in the six-day war in 1967. Several hundred thousand Israeli settlers now live there as citizens while about 2.7 million Palestinians are not and live under military rule.
Spource: Guardian newspaper
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