Palestinians, NGOs welcome Amnesty International report on Apartheid Israel

(Wojtek Radwanski - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 1, 2022

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry today welcomed Amnesty’s report which labelled Israel an apartheid state, calling for the occupation state to be held to account for its practices against Palestinians.

“The report is a detailed affirmation of the cruel reality of entrenched racism, exclusion, oppression, colonialism, apartheid and attempted erasure that the Palestinian people have endured since the Nakba,” the Ministry said in a statement.

It called on the United Nations to “heed the compelling evidence presented by Amnesty” and hold “Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people, including through sanctions”.

This came after Amnesty released its report during a press conference in occupied East Jerusalem, where it said Israel’s policies in the occupied West Bank, Negev and beyond “All amount to a system and crime of apartheid.”

Palestinian movement Hamas said the report shows the tragic reality of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.

“The report describes the true tragic reality of our Palestinian people under the [Israeli] occupation,” group spokesman, Hisham Qasem, said in a statement.

Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, for its part, hailed the report as a “major addition to previous reports” on Israel’s apartheid practices.

“This is an essential step in the struggle to change this reality, towards a future where all people living here will enjoy justice, equality and respect for their human rights,” it said in a statement.

The rights group slammed the Israeli criticism of the report by Foreign Minister, Yair Lapi, who described it as “biased and anti-Semitic”.

“Levelling accusations of anti-Semitism against anyone who criticizes the Israeli regime – including against human rights organizations – is a manipulative assertion that undermines the crucial global struggle against anti-Semitism and offends the memory of its victims throughout history,” B’Tselem said.

B’Tselem published its on report highlighting Israel’s apartheid practices early last year.