Crimes Against Humanity: Human Rights Watch says Israel committing Apartheid and Persecution and demands international sanctions
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign has praised the publication of a new report by Human Rights Watch showing that Israel is committing the dual crimes against humanity of Apartheid and Persecution of the Palestinian people.
The report, entitled ‘A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution’, is the latest in a long line of human rights organisations levelling similar charges against Israel, and also calls for international sanctions against the Israeli state and individuals implicated in these crimes.
IPSC Chairperson Fatin Al Tamimi welcomed the report, stating: “Human Rights Watch is to be commended for publishing such a scrupulously forensic report, which echoes the points we Palestinians have been making for decades. What the report makes clear is that the oppressive regime Israel imposes upon the Palestinian people is neither accidental nor temporary, but rather it is calculated, systematic and permanent. It is Apartheid, designed to ensure Palestinians remain in a position of perpetual subjugation.”
Ms. Tamimi continued: “In particular we welcome the report’s recommendations for action, aimed at national, international and supranational governments and institutions. In the IPSC we have long argued that there must be a political and economic price attached to Israel’s systematic oppression of Palestinians and denial of their rights, so to see such clear calls for concrete international actions and sanctions is refreshing. We will certainly be pushing for the Irish government to act on these recommendations, as will a great many people in Ireland.”
The Report’s Recommendations include the following –
Calling on the International Criminal Court to:
- Investigate and prosecute those credibly implicated in the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.
Calling the United Nations to:
- Establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate systematic discrimination and repression based on group identity in the OPT and Israel.
- Establish through the UN a position of UN global envoy for the crimes of persecution and apartheid with a mandate to advocate for their end and identify steps that states and judicial institutions should take to prosecute these crimes.
Calling on the European Union collectively, individual states unilaterally to:
- Impose unilateral measures in the form of targeted sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against officials and entities credibly implicated in the crimes of apartheid and persecution;
- Condition arms sales and military and security assistance to Israel on Israeli authorities taking concrete and verifiable steps towards ending their commission of the crimes of apartheid and persecution;
- Subject agreements, cooperation schemes, and all forms of trade and dealing with Israel to enhanced due diligence to screen for those directly contributing to the commission of crimes of apartheid and persecution of Palestinians, mitigate the human rights harms and, where not possible, end the activities and funding found to directly contribute to facilitating these serious crimes.
- Conduct a holistic assessment of the implications for EU and member states relations with Israel arising from the findings of the crimes of apartheid and persecution, identifying in particular the legal consequences and obligations under EU and international law that apply.
- Issue public statements of concern regarding Israeli authorities’ commission of the crimes of apartheid and persecution.
Calling on private entities to:
- Cease business activities that directly contribute to the crimes of apartheid and persecution.
- Assess whether their goods and services contribute to the crimes of apartheid and persecution, such as equipment used in the unlawful demolition of Palestinian homes, and cease providing goods and services that will likely be used for such purposes, in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Previous reports detailing the Apartheid nature of Israel’s policies include:
B’Tselem: A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is Apartheid (2021)
War on Want: Israeli Apartheid factsheet (2021)
Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council: Israel Entrenches Crime of Apartheid over the Palestinian People (2020)
Yesh Din: The Occupation of the West Bank and the Crime of Apartheid (2020)
UN ESCRA: Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid (2017)