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UN report on Israeli ‘apartheid’ seen as unprecedented

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Author: HANI HAZAIMEHFri, 2017-03-17ID: 1489694267675000000
JEDDAH: A new report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) sets two landmark precedents on the question of Palestine, a Palestinian rights activist told Arab News.
The report, entitled “Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” has drawn swift criticism from the UN and Israeli officials.
“It’s the first time any UN agency has proven beyond doubt that Israel is imposing an apartheid regime against the entire Palestinian people, and its advocacy of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) as the most effective accountability mechanism shatters a rigid taboo in the UN system,” said Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement.
The report’s authors conclude: “Israel has established an apartheid regime that systematically institutionalizes racial oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole.”
Barghouti said: “At our darkest moment of Israel’s escalating repression, settler-colonialism, racist laws and ethnic cleansing, Palestinians are seeing this as a possible game-changer that may herald the dawn of sanctions against Israel, as was done against apartheid South Africa. But we realize that we need to spread BDS much further before we see that light.”
The report said Palestinians are governed by military law, while the approximately 350,000 Jewish settlers are governed by Israeli civil law.
“The racial character of this situation is further confirmed by the fact that all West Bank Jewish settlers enjoy the protections of Israeli civil law on the basis of being Jewish, whether they are Israeli citizens or not,” said the report.
“This dual legal system, problematic in itself, is indicative of an apartheid regime when coupled with the racially discriminatory management of land and development administered by Jewish-national institutions, which are charged with administering ‘State land’ in the interest of the Jewish population.”
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, when asked about the report, said it was published without prior consultation with the UN secretariat, and its views do not reflect those of the secretary-general.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to keep his promise to build Israel’s first new West Bank settlement in two decades.
He said reaching an understanding with the US on settlements was “good for Israel,” but he would honor a promise he made last month to build a new settlement to replace an outpost Israel dismantled because the Supreme Court determined it was built on private Palestinian land.
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Thursday: “The Israeli occupation continues to defy the international community’s will by announcing the construction of more settlements and grabbing more Palestinian lands.”
He added: “Their illegal settlement activities endanger the demographic composition of the Palestinian territories. They’re opening new roads to those settlements that are only allowed to be used by settlers, while Palestinians are banned from using them. This is a clear form of apartheid.”
Erekat said he had taken several foreign diplomats on a tour of Palestinian lands to show them the serious threat posed by Israeli settlements on any possible peace agreement on the basis of a two-state solution.
“What Israel is doing constitutes war crimes, and the international community must take action to curb Israeli arrogance,” he said.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: IsraelapartheidESCWABDSOmar BarghoutiBenjamin NetanyahuJewish settlersrelated_nodes: Report: Israel has established ‘apartheid regime’6 million Palestinians living under apartheid rule, PLO tells Arab NewsIsrael building new part of ‘apartheid’ wall

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