Yet another report has added further weight to the allegation that Israel continues to commit the crime of apartheid on both sides of the Green Line. This latest report has been published by the Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
Although its primary focus is on the apartheid regime that Israel has established in the oPt, it also recognizes that Palestinians in Israel, Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian diaspora continue to be impacted by Israel’s apartheid crimes.
The report begins by reiterating the conclusion of Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid, the seminal 2017 UN ESCWA report that establishes Israel’s apartheid regime applies to all Palestinians. It also sets out the four main ways that Israel maintains its domination, namely fragmentation; undermining Palestinian cultural life; maintaining economic domination by exploiting natural resources; and obstructing Palestinian political life. It then highlights four of the ‘inhuman acts’ that Israel applies in each ‘domain’. These include forcible transfer, which it illustrates by referring to the example of East Jerusalem; persecution, which it demonstrates in more detail by referring to the besieged Gaza Strip; and murder and willful killing, which it demonstrates by referring to events in the oPt.
The report further reiterates the international responsibility to acknowledge the existence of apartheid and adopt effective collective countermeasures in response. These should include, but not be limited to, arms embargoes, diplomatic, economic and political sanctions that will be applied both by states and individuals, and trade restrictions. In reiterating both state and international responsibility, it stresses that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has a central role to play in holding Israel to account for its actions.
The report provides further evidence in support of the growing number of legal and scholarly works that highlight Israel’s system of apartheid. These include the aforementioned UN ESCWA report; the Joint Parallel Report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Israel’s Seventeenth to Nineteenth Periodic Reports, which was published by a group of eight Palestinian and international human rights organizations in November 2019; A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is Apartheid, which was published by B’tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, in January 2021; and A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution, which was published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in April 2021.