Human Rights Watch: Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution
The nonprofit Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday said Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution due to its discriminatory policies towards Palestinians in territories it controls.
HRW based its assessment off of the International Criminal Court’s definitions of apartheid and persecution, The Associated Press reports.
HRW argued in a 213-page report that Israel has “demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians” in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza along with “systematic oppression” and “inhumane acts.”
“When these three elements occur together, they amount to the crime of apartheid,” the HRW said.
The human rights organization cited land confiscation, the systemic denial of building permits, home demolitions and the “sweeping, decades-long restrictions on freedom of movement and basic human rights,” as a reason for accusing Israel of persecution.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry shot back at the report, claiming the HRW “is known to have a long-standing anti-Israel agenda.”
“The fictional claims that HRW concocted are both preposterous and false,” the ministry added.
The Israeli government has rejected the claims that it withholds rights from Palestinians that are granted to Jews. Supporters of Israel point to the existence of the Palestinian National Authority, the internationally recognized Palestinian government, when rejecting accusations of apartheid.
However, the AP notes that organizations like the HRW argue that despite the Palestinian Authority, the Israel government maintains control over nearly all aspects of Palestinians’ lives in the West Bank and Gaza.