A new report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Israel of committing acts of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians.
The 213-page document alleges that Israel is pursuing “apartheid” policies by attempting to preserve Jewish control over Palestinians and its Arab population.
The report entitled “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” states “The Israeli government has demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the occupied Palestinians territory.”
It adds, “That intent has been coupled with systematic oppression of Palestinians and inhumane acts committed against them. When these three elements occur together, they amount to the crime of apartheid.”
“Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the trajectory of Israel’s rule over Palestinians does not change,” HRW executive director Kenneth Roth said in a press release. “This detailed study shows that Israeli authorities have already turned that corner and today are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution,” he said.
The Gaza Strip sits along the Mediterranean coast between Egypt and Israel. Israel separates it from Jerusalem, which holds deep-rooted religious and cultural importance for both Arabs and Jews, with Israel and Palestinians claiming Jerusalem as a capital city.
On Dec. 6, 2017, President Donald Trump fanned the flames of contention when he announced the official U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He then began the process of moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Dec. 21, 2017, for a resolution unreservedly calling on the U.S. to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem. It did not.
On May 14, 2018, the new United States embassy in Jerusalem was opened, coinciding with Israel’s independence day.
Last month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it would investigate war crimes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel has refused to cooperate with the investigation.