Israel’s policies toward Palestinians once again come under criticism with a new rights group report accusing the state of Apartheid.
Israel has long been criticised by rights groups for its poor human rights record against Palestinians across occupied territories and areas under direct Israeli control.
But a recent human rights report found even more damning findings related to Israeli conduct against Palestinians, saying that Tel Aviv has “systematically deprived" them of their rights.
“We found that Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amount to apartheid. The international community has an obligation to act,” said Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s General Secretary.
“There is no possible justification for a system built around the institutionalized and prolonged racist oppression of millions of people. Apartheid has no place in our world, and states which choose to make allowances for Israel will find themselves on the wrong side of history,” the report said, giving a clear support to BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.
The BDS campaigns against economic investment in Israel, encouraging companies to boycott Israeli products. It also urges economic sanctions against Tel Aviv. The movement has launched various actions to increase global awareness on Tel Aviv’s occupation of Palestinian lands.
Israel called the Amnesty report “false, biased, and antisemitic” prior to its release.
“Amnesty’s report effectively serves as a green light… to harm not only Israel, but Jews around the world,” said a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry.
“Its extremist language and distortion of historical context were designed to demonize Israel and pour fuel onto the fire of antisemitism,” the statement added.
While Amnesty accused Israel of being racist, Tel Aviv lashed out at the international rights group, calling it “notorious for being corrupted by racism and xenophobia.”
Amnesty International is not the first organisation to call Israel an Apartheid regime. Last year, Human Rights Watch, another leading rights group, also portrayed the country in the same light. Even Israeli rights group B’Tselem has described Israel as an “apartheid” regime in early 2021.