UN official says Israel has imposed apartheid on Palestinian territories

UN official says Israel has imposed apartheid on Palestinian territories
2 min read
23 March, 2022
The UN's Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories has issued a report saying that Israel has imposed an 'apartheid reality in a post-apartheid world' on Palestinians.
Israel's decades-long oppression of the Palestinians has been called "apartheid" by the UN's special rapporteur [Getty]

Israel’s control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip amounts to apartheid, Professor Michael Lynk, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said on Monday.

In an 18-page report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, Lynk detailed the different ways in which the Israeli state is persecuting Palestinian, noting Israel’s “institutionalised regime of systematic racial oppression and discrimination.”

"With the eyes of the international community wide open, Israel has imposed upon Palestine an apartheid reality in a post-apartheid world," the report concluded.

Palestinian organisations and activists have been urging the international community to recognise Israel’s occupation as an apartheid regime for years, and this report appears to back up these claims following a similar declaration by Amnesty International earlier this year.

"The report emphasises the need for the international community to accept the findings of human rights organisations, including Amnesty, and start calling Israel’s apartheid what it is," said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

"The international community, in particular countries allied to Israel, must stop making excuses for this cruel system of racial domination and oppression and take immediate action to help end apartheid and protect Palestinian rights," he added.

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Multiple international organisations and activist groups are organising events and demonstrations this week against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and siege of Gaza for Israeli Apartheid Week.

Amnesty International released a video highlighting the harrowing expulsions of Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem by Israeli forces, while protests at over 70 universities are urging educational institutions to divest from “companies complicit in Israeli war crimes and apartheid.”

Israel has a history of discrediting individuals and organisations seeking to criticise its treatment of Palestinians.

In January, an Israeli Foreign Ministry cable revealed that Tel Aviv was orchestrating a campaign to smear a UN commission looking into the root causes of the conflicts in Occupied Palestinian Territories, according to a report in Axios.

Israeli forces have displaced thousands of Palestinian families from their homes since the country's creation in 1948 and continue to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip.

Israel has also built hundreds of illegal settlements on Palestinian land.