A Palestinian resident of the West Bank village of Burqa confronts Israeli soldiers following attacks by settlers, on 17 December, 2021.
(Photo credit: AFP)
On 1 February Amnesty International became the fourth major human rights organization to label Israel as an apartheid state, after the release of a 278-page report compiled over a four-year period that documents human rights abuses committed against the Palestinian people.
The organization drew upon the events of May 2021 in particular as representing the latest and most critical reason for Tel Aviv’s apartheid designation.
“The events of May 2021 were emblematic of the oppression which Palestinians have faced every day, for decades,” Amnesty International said on their website. “The discrimination, the dispossession, the repression of dissent, the killings and injuries – all are part of a system which is designed to privilege Jewish Israelis at the expense of Palestinians.”
The report identified four strategies used by the Israeli occupation government in its assault on Palestinians. These were classified as: fragmentation, dispossession, segregation, and deprivation.
Calling Israel’s control over Palestinians an “institutionalized regime of systemic oppression and domination” the organization concluded that “the State of Israel considers and treats Palestinians as an inferior non-Jewish racial group.”
The report even accused Israel of “crimes against humanity,” including “ethnic cleansing.”
Amnesty International detailed the oppression committed onto Palestinians and mentioned that it accomplishes its aims of assuming control over them by “dominating Palestinians through the seizure of lands and segregation of Palestinian communities.”
The organization also cited the post-1967 goal of successive Israeli governments in preserving a Jewish demographic majority as the main objective behind its policies.
The report also mentioned that Israel continues these policies and practices “regardless of which party is in power,” and that the occupation makes use of “distinct legal regimes,” places Palestinians into “deliberate impoverishment” and causes routine mass displacement through “forced evictions” and home demolitions.
Additionally, the report mentioned that Tel Aviv denies Palestinians the right to equal citizenship and the right of return.
As of present, the report estimated that 100,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and 68,000 in Israel are “at imminent risk of losing their homes.”
Other human rights watchdogs, such as Human Rights Watch and the Israeli rights group B’Tselem, have previously found that Israel is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is also investigating potential war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinian in recent years.