Amnesty slams Israel's systematic abuse of Palestinians as 'crime of apartheid'

Amnesty slams Israel's systematic abuse of Palestinians as 'crime of apartheid'
In a 280-page report, Amnesty International has slammed Israel for enforcing a system of 'apartheid' on Palestinians and has called on the UK as well as other nations to readdress their relationship with Israel.
2 min read
01 February, 2022
Amnesty said western states had 'refused to take any meaningful action against Israel' [Getty]

Amnesty International has slammed Israel’s "institutionalised and systematic" abuse of Palestinians, saying that it amounts to the "crime of apartheid".

In a report published on Tuesday, the organisation concluded that Israel treats "Palestinians as an inferior non-Jewish racial group" by enforcing a "regime of oppression and domination".

The 280-page document, entitled Israel's Apartheid Against Palestinians, outlined how the Israeli state segregates and controls Palestinians in order to maintain Jewish hegemony.

It said that Israel used unlawful killings, confiscation of land and property, forced transfer, restrictions on movement, and denial of nationality and citizenship in order to achieve this.

"Our report reveals the true extent of Israel’s apartheid regime. Whether they live in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, or Israel itself, Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group and systematically deprived of their rights," Amnesty International’s Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said.

By referring to a number of specific examples, such as attempts to expel Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah or segregationist land policies in Negev, the rights group explained how systematic oppression was experienced differently in different areas.

Yet ultimately, the group concluded that the fundamental aim of these policies was to prevent Palestinians from "claiming and enjoying equal rights". 

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The international community "has an obligation to act" given the extent and scale of the oppression, Callamard said.

Amnesty’s report specifically called on the UK, as well as the US and EU, to recognise this "crime of apartheid" and readdress their relationship with Israel. 

"Apartheid has no place in our world, and states which choose to make allowances for Israel will find themselves on the wrong side of history," Callamard added.

The Israeli government attempted a pre-emptive strike on Monday ahead of the report’s release by labelling the document as "anti-Semitic".

Israeli officials claim they were "not informed" or approached by Amnesty, according to The Times. 

However, Amnesty made clear in its report that it had contacted the Israeli foreign minister last year detailing the accusations. 

The human rights group’s report was based on research and analysis carried out by the organisation between July 2017 to November 2021.

This involved "extensively" analysing Israeli legislation and policy as well as speaking to Palestinians, Israelis and a number of NGOs.