Jerusalem24 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories Michael Lynk has submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council that concludes that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories amounts to apartheid.
According to Amnesty International’s website, Lynk’s report analyzes the current human rights situation in the occupied territories and finds that Israeli Jews and Palestinians live “under a single regime which differentiates its distribution of rights and benefits based on national and ethnic identity, and which ensures the supremacy of one group over, and to the detriment of, the other.”
The report explains how Israel “endows one racial-national-ethnic group with substantial rights, benefits, and privileges while intentionally subjecting another group to live behind walls, checkpoints, and under a permanent military rule.” It states that this “satisfies the prevailing evidentiary standard for the existence of apartheid.”
Commenting on the report, Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said that “the Special Rapporteur’s findings are an important and timely addition to the growing international consensus that Israeli authorities are committing apartheid against the Palestinian people.”
The Canadian academic added that Israel’s strategy of censoring and discrediting anyone who uses the word apartheid “cannot hide the growing consensus among experts that the harsh reality of the grinding oppression to which Israel subjects Palestinians daily is a textbook example of apartheid.”
He also said that Israel is pursuing a strategy of “strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian territory into separate areas of population control, with Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem physically divided from one another.”
Israeli officials and organizations blasted the report, with some critics like Anne Herzberg of the Israeli NGO Monitor claiming that Lynk had used anti-Semitic tropes.
On February 1, Amnesty released its report, which labels Israel an ‘apartheid state. The report calls for Israel to be held accountable for its practices against Palestinians.
Despite the increasing number of rights groups labeling Israeli policies as amounting to apartheid, the United States and Israel’s other western allies have refrained from making any such declarations.