Israel has responded after Amnesty International called it ‘an apartheid state’.
In a new report, Human Rights group, Amnesty International said “Israel enforces a system of oppression and domination against Palestinians. Israeli laws, policies and practices against Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories amount to apartheid”
The report calls Israel’s act “an institutionalized regime of oppression and domination of the Palestinian population for the benefit of Jewish Israelis”.
Apartheid is a crime against humanity under international law. It’s not the first time Amnesty International has criticized Israel over its alleged maltreatment of Palestinians in Israel.
Responding on Tuesday February 1, Israel, called Amnesty an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel hate organisation, and “absolutely rejects all the false allegations” in the report.
An Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson accused Amnesty of recycling “lies, inconsistencies, and unfounded assertions that originate from well-known anti-Israeli hate organisations”.
“The report denies the State of Israel’s right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people. Its extremist language and distortion of historical context were designed to demonize Israel and pour fuel onto the fire of anti-Semitism,” they said in a statement.
Apartheid was a policy of racial segregation and discrimination that was enforced by the white minority government in South Africa against the country’s black majority from 1948 until 1991.
Introduced in South Africa in 1948, black people were regarded as inferior and there were no votes for blacks in their national election. Also black people were prevented from owning land in much of South Africa.
Three main international treaties prohibit apartheid, including the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
Over 20% of Israel’s population of 9.45 million are Arabs, many of whom self-identify as Palestinians, while 2.9 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
1.9 million Palestinians also live in the Gaza Strip, which Israel pulled out of in 2005 but the UN still considers to also be occupied.