The report said it had established on the “basis of scholarly inquiry and
overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid.”
Israeli occupation state imposes “apartheid regime” of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people, UN report announced on Wednesday.
The report commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) concluded that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”
UN Under-Secretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf said the report was the “first of its type” from a UN body that “clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system that persecutes the Palestinian people.”
Khalaf was speaking at an event to launch the report at ESCWA’s Beirut headquarters.
ESCWA comprises 18 Arab states in Western Asia, according to its website. Its aims include to support economic and social development in member states. The report was prepared at the request of member states, Khalaf said.
The report said it had established on the “basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid.”
“However, only a ruling by an international tribunal in that sense would make such an assessment truly authoritative,” it added.
The report said the “strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people” was the main method through which Israel imposes apartheid, with Palestinians divided into four groups oppressed through “distinct laws, policies and practices.”
It identified the four sets of Palestinians as: Palestinian citizens of Israel, Palestinians in east Jerusalem, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Palestinians living as refugees or in exile.
The report was authored by Richard Falk, a former UN human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories and an outspoken critic of Israel, and Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University.
Before leaving his post as UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories in 2014, Falk said Israeli policies bore unacceptable characteristics of colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon harshly attacked the report. “The attempts to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East are shameful and shocking,” he said.
To Danon, this is not an attempt to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East, but this is a factual report based on the reality on the ground which the Palestinian live every day. Otherwise, why has the only democracy in the Middle East started to ban activists to visit the occupied territories?