Israel has established a system of apartheid against Palestinians, says new Amnesty report

Palestine 2009. Israel's Wall in Bethlehem, West Bank.

Amnesty International has released a new report titled “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity”. The comprehensive 280-page report details the “true extent of the Israeli apartheid state”. In the report, the organisation says Israeli authorities must be held accountable for committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians. 

What does the report do?

The Amnesty International report documented and analysed Israel’s institutionalised and systematic discrimination against Palestinians within the framework of the definition of apartheid under international law. It looked at the discriminatory and exclusionary policies and laws which the apartheid state enacts against Palestinian people. The laws and policies which have been used to maintain the system are also examined. Amnesty International in their report show that Israel has imposed a system of oppression and domination over Palestinians. In their conclusion, the organisation found that Israel has perpetrated the international wrong of apartheid. It has perpetrated it as a human rights violation and a violation of public international law wherever it imposes this system.

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The breakdown

The report looks at the treatment of Palestinian people living in the Occupied Terrorities, Gaza, Jerusalem as well as refugees. This ranges from segregation and control of movement, use of military rule and the restrictions of political participation. The report also looks at the land aspect such as the discriminatory urban planning. It also looks at the discriminatory allocation of expropriated Palestinian land for Jewish settlements. The settlements are considered illegal under international law. The report explains how Israeli policies seek to discriminate and persecute Palestinian people. 


The report found that the laws, policies and practises of the Israeli regime has established a system of apartheid. 

“The totality of the regime of laws, policies and practices described in this report demonstrates that Israel has established and maintained an institutionalized regime of oppression and domination of the Palestinian population for the benefit of Jewish Israelis – a system of apartheid – wherever it has exercised control over Palestinians’ lives since 1948.”

The report also said that the apartheid Israeli state considers Palestinians inferior and systematically and institutionally segregates them. This is all with the aim to prevent Palestinians from claiming and enjoying equal rights, the report said. 

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The report says that legal remedies exist, including at the international level, to address the system and crime of apartheid perpetuated by Israel against Palestinians. Amnesty International said another remedy involves investigations and prosecutions which applies to individuals, members of organisations and representatives of the state who commit and participate in the commission of the crime of apartheid.

Furthermore, the report says that the international community has failed the people of Palestine. The report says that the international community “has stood by as Israel has been given free rein to dispossess, segregate, control, oppress and dominate Palestinians”. Amnesty International says the international community has contributed to undermining the international legal order and has emboldened Israel to continue perpetrating crimes with impunity. 

“Meanwhile, addressing Israeli violations against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip merely within the framework of international humanitarian law, and separately from the violations perpetrated against Palestinians in Israel, has failed to tackle the root causes of the conflict and achieve any form of accountability and justice for the victims.” 

Various recommendations are laid out in the report for the international community, Israeli authorities, the United Nations Rights Council and other relevant international bodies. 

The full report can be found here