Amnesty praises UN Special Rapporteur for recognising Israel's 'apartheid' against Palestinians
Amnesty International has applauded the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing for recognising that Israel is committing the crime of "apartheid" against Palestinians in a damning report released on Friday.
Special Rapporteur Balakrishnan Rajagopal presented an "Adequate Housing" report to the UN General Assembly which condemned Israel for overseeing an "institutionalised regime of systematic racial oppression and discrimination against the people of Palestine".
The report, which compared the forcible transfer of Palestinians to the Syrian regime’s destruction of civilian homes, concluded that Israel’s routine abuse - including forced evictions and illegal demolitions - amounts to "the crime against humanity of apartheid".
"Israel authorities’ domination and control of the Palestinian population, including through discriminatory land, planning and housing policies, is well documented, and extends to Palestinians wherever Israel has control over their rights," said Heba Morayef, Amnesty’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
The UN report referred to discriminatory legislation such as the Absentee Property Law which grants Israel the power to confiscate and impound Palestinian properties that they were forced to leave behind in 1948.
Amnesty said Rajagopal’s condemnation added to a growing chorus of human rights experts drawing attention to systematic crimes against Palestinians, and that it "could not be more timely".
There has been a recent escalation in Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, with at least 32 Palestinians including six children killed over the past month.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war and has built more than 130 settlements there in violation of international law.
often designates land as a "firing zone" or "closed military zone" in order to evict Palestinians from their ancestral homes. In Masafer Yatta, more than 1,000 people are currently facing forcible eviction due to this policy.