Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of “apartheid” against Palestinians

The NGO believes that the Jewish state exercises “systematic oppression” and “inhuman acts” against Palestinians and Arabs living on its soil and in the Occupied Territories.

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“A deliberate domination of the Israeli Jewish population over the Palestinians.” The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) described Tuesday April 27 as“apartheid” Israel’s policy towards Arabs on its soil and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

The accusation was fiercely contested by the Jewish state. Even before the publication of the NGO’s report, the Israeli Foreign Ministry reacted by calling it to AFP “propaganda leaflet” unrelated “with the facts or the truth on the ground” and written by a transformed organization “long-standing by an anti-Israel agenda.” For its part, the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas called the report “strong and credible testimony to the suffering of the Palestinians”.

In recent months, Israeli NGOs like B’Tselem had started using the term “apartheid” to denote Israel’s policies towards Israeli Arabs – descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land after the creation of the Hebrew state – and Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. But this is the first time that a large international human rights NGO has qualified this policy “apartheid”.

Human Rights Watch also denounces the“systematic oppression” towards the Palestinians and “inhumane acts”, which make it possible to define a “crime of apartheid”. The NGO says it is based on the legal definition of apartheid and not on a comparison with the old racial policy of South Africa.

The NGO, headquartered in New York, is also urging the UN to set up a “international commission of inquiry” on the situation in Israel and the Territories, and on foreign states “not to be accomplices” Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, without calling them to boycott the Jewish state, said report author Omar Shakir.

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