DAWN joins 90 human rights organizations welcoming the UN Special Rapporteur report on the situation of human rights in Palestine's concluding that Israeli authorities are committing the crime of apartheid.
Watch the video of the Human Rights Council Session here. Item 7 is the ID with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
The full text of the letter can be read below.
March 24, 2022
Our organizations welcome the historic report by the Special Rapporteur, which concludes that Israeli authorities are committing the crime of apartheid. His conclusion should serve as a wakeup call for governments throughout the world.
The Rapporteur's study of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 reflects the larger reality of Israel's apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole. Since 1948, Israel has established and maintained an apartheid regime over the Palestinian people regardless of their geographic location, including Palestinian refugees denied their right of return to their homes, lands, and properties.
Double standards on this matter, including those propagated by Europe and the United States, severely undermine the effectiveness and legitimacy of international human rights and humanitarian legal standards.
For 73 years, the international community has enabled Israeli impunity and failed to hold Israeli perpetrators accountable for serious crimes against Palestinians. Accountability is long overdue.
With the start of the Nakba in 1948, 85% of the Palestinian people became refugees and internally displaced. The newly established State of Israel in historic Palestine installed a legal regime to institutionalize the dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian people. Following the military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip since 1967, Israel extended and operationalized its apartheid system in the oPt.
To maintain its apartheid regime, Israel resorts to a wide range of repressive policies to subjugate and control Palestinians, including arbitrary detention, excessive use of force, torture, collective punishment, persecution of human rights defenders and organizations, and structural violence preventing Palestinians' full enjoyment of their human rights, amounting to inhuman acts of apartheid.
The Rapporteur identified the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people as a "central strategy" of Israeli apartheid. By dividing the Palestinian people into, at least, four separate geographic, legal, and political categories, Israel ensures that Palestinians cannot meet, group, live together, or exercise any collective rights, particularly their right to self-determination.
We reiterate the need for effective measures to dismantle Israeli apartheid, as put forward by the Special Rapporteur and civil society, including for UN member states to recognize Israeli apartheid against the Palestinian people, the reconstitution of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid, the ratification and/or implementation of the Convention against Apartheid and accountability at the International Criminal Court and in the courts of third states.
It is time to act to adopt effective measures, including sanctions, to end Israeli apartheid.