Okeil: Israeli practices entrench apartheid over the Palestinian people
Abeer Ghaith: The occupation authorities approved a set of laws and practices aimed at isolating Palestinians
On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is observed annually on 21 March, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights (Egypt) issued a report entitled "Apartheid in Israel: A Study on Apartheid in the 21st Century."The report sheds light on the systematic and grave discriminatory violations committed by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people through the enactment of racist laws, violations, and imposing restrictions on educational institutions. Besides, the report outlines a set of discriminatory laws imposed by the occupation authorities in a discriminatory and racist manner. None but the western Israeli Jews can lead a life of dignity, and enjoy the full rights granted to them by the state of Israel, whose leaders have long described as “a land of democracy and freedom”. Although eastern Israeli Jews are better off than other minorities, the right-wing extremist ideologies and ideas embraced by the "Ashkenazi Jews" have become widespread and continue to ignite the flames of racism and discrimination in the Jewish community.
As indicated by the report, 73 years have passed after the 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as the Nakba, during which Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes and lands. Thousands of Palestinians have hugely suffered the loss of their lives, homes, and properties, as the Zionist militias have destroyed 531 Palestinian villages and committed more than 70 massacres, claiming the lives of over 15 thousand Palestinians between 1947 and 1949. As far as two-thirds of Palestinians became refugees since the 1948 Nakba, and the remaining one-third of the population became internally displaced. Since that time, the Israeli occupation authorities continue to deny the Palestinians their right to return to their home villages, towns, and cities, and the colonial legacy of the Nakba continues to this day.
For his part, Ayman Okeil, president of Maat for Peace, stated that institutionalized repression of the Palestinian people has more than doubled over the past decades. Israel has implemented a systematic plan to transfer the indigenous Palestinian population from their lands, in addition to the prolonged occupation of Palestinian lands, the de facto annexation of the West Bank, and the formal annexation of Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan, in grave contravention of the International Law. So, whether the official annexation of the West Bank is proceeding or has been suspended, the fact remains that Israel has aggressively pursued an illegal policy of depopulation and demographic manipulation, thus entrenching apartheid over the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line, as well as depriving refugees and exiles abroad of their right to return home, Okeil added.
Abeer Ghaith, Deputy Director of the Research and Studies Unit at Maat, confirmed that Israel has imposed, since its occupation of Palestine, a set of laws and practices that aimed at isolating and dividing the Palestinians through the enactment of Apartheid, which is a system of institutionalized racial segregation, aimed at deliberately dividing the Palestinian people, legally, politically and geographically, into four separate divisions: the Palestinians holding Israeli citizenship, the Palestinians residing in Jerusalem, the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in addition to the Palestinian refugees in exile and diaspora and the deprived of the right of return. Israel has committed numerous unspeakable violations in order to preserve the apartheid system, such as widespread collective punishment, arbitrary arrests, torture, and other forms of ill-treatment such as muzzling the voices of those struggling against apartheid, Ghaith added.
Finally, the report called on the international community to force Israel to: i) stop its racist practices against the Palestinian people because this violates international humanitarian law and international conventions, ii) repeal all discriminatory laws approved by it, especially the Jewish Nationality Law, iii) reconstruct the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid and the United Nations Center Against Apartheid to monitor the implementation of the Apartheid Convention with the aim of ending the illegal situation practiced by Israel against the Palestinian people, iv) activate the mechanisms of the universal jurisdiction, v) ensure the implementation of the Apartheid Convention, and vi) carry out a full and comprehensive investigation into the situation in the Palestinian territories by the Criminal Court without further delay.
To view the report via the following link: -