International human rights organisations

International human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have described Israel's treatment of Palestinians as apartheid. 

With recent reports, these organisations have come to the conclusions that Palestinians are living under Israeli apartheid, which they have long spoken of. 

Amnesty International 

In February 2022, Amnesty International published their report; Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity.

"Israeli authorities must be held accountable for committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians, Amnesty International said today in a damning new report. The investigation details how Israel enforces a system of oppression and domination against the Palestinian people wherever it has control over their rights. This includes Palestinians living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), as well as displaced refugees in other countries.

The comprehensive report, Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity, sets out how massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system which amounts to apartheid under international law. This system is maintained by violations which Amnesty International found to constitute apartheid as a crime against humanity, as defined in the Rome Statute and Apartheid Convention.

Amnesty International is calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider the crime of apartheid in its current investigation in the OPT and calls on all states to exercise universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice."

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Human Rights Watch 

In April 2021, Human Rights Watch published their report; A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution

"About 6.8 million Jewish Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians live today between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River, an area encompassing Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the latter made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Throughout most of this area, Israel is the sole governing power; in the remainder, it exercises primary authority alongside limited Palestinian self-rule. Across these areas and in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution."

  • Q&A for Human Rights Watch Report and video explainer.
  • ‘One system, one policy’: Why Human Rights Watch is charging Israel with apartheid: Omar Shakir of HRW speaks to Amjad Iraqi in 972 Magazine.
  • Comedian John Oliver accuses Israel of war crimes and apartheid against Palestinians, May 2021
  • French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian in May 2021: “If, by any chance, we had a solution other than the two-state solution, we would have the ingredients for apartheid that would last for a long time… The risk of apartheid (is) high if we continue to go with a one-state logic or the status quo. Event the status quo produces that.”
  • Luxembourg's Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn: "We Europeans have always been stalwart defenders of a two-state solution. Nevertheless, the reality today is far removed from this. We must concentrate on the rights of Palestinians and address the structural inequality that separates Israelis and Palestinians, with organisations like B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch talking of apartheid”.
  • Watch Sayeeda Warsi's speech in the House of Lords in May 2021 on UK Government failure to uphold its own policy in Palestine, referencing Human Rights Watch report on apartheid.
  • Former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon in the Financial Times in June 2021: "This gives the dual legal regimes imposed in Palestinian territories by Israel — together with the inhumane and abusive acts that are carried out against Palestinians — new significance, resulting in a situation that arguably constitutes apartheid.”
  • It's apartheid - former Israeli ambassadors to South African, Ilan Baruch and Alon Liel in GroundUp, June 2021.

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International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) issued a statement in April 2021: The international community must hold Israel responsible for its crimes of apartheid.

"On the occasion of the meeting of its International Board held on 27 and 28 March 2021, FIDH formally reaffirms its support for the position of Palestinian and Israeli organisations rejecting the occupation and the policy of apartheid committed by Israel against Palestinians. Through systemic laws and practices, Israel seeks to establish a policy of institutional discrimination aimed at favouring Jewish Israeli citizens leading to the fragmentation of the State of Palestine. Besides discrimination, Palestinians face legal and institutional persecution—a serious violation of international law requiring an appropriate response from the international community in order to put an end to such crimes and the impunity that Israel enjoys.

Since 2009, several Palestinian FIDH member organisations including Al Haq, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, have analysed the colonialist and segregationist dimension of Israeli occupation. They have documented assassinations, the destruction of property without any military justification, expropriation, arbitrary detention and torture, transfer of Israeli settlers to the occupied territories, annexation of Palestinian lands, innumerable obstacles to the free movement of Palestinians including a separation wall, pillaging of natural resources, as well as numerous other atrocities aimed at maintaining supremacy of Israelis to the detriment of the rights of Palestinians. Such policies and practices, which constitute the crime of apartheid, have been committed with impunity and their perpetrators have managed to escape prosecution."

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Minority Rights Group International 

In a statement in May 2021, Minority Right Group International (MRG), wrote about the "widespread and systematic policy against the Palestinian population constituting crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing, persecution and apartheid": MRG stands in solidarity with Palestinians and denounces all violence against civilians.

"While MRG denounces all forms of racism, antisemitism, violence against civilians, and all loss of life, we reject the dominant ’both sides’ rhetoric that ignores significant differences between one of the world’s most heavily militarised states which wields vast media and economic power, and the Palestinian population resisting oppression and colonialism.

Israel’s recent attacks are part of a longstanding, widespread and systematic policy against the Palestinian population constituting crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing, persecution and apartheid. The recent escalation of violence coincided with the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, when between 1947 and 1949 hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced out of their homes and lands – a process of ethnic cleansing that is ongoing. As a result, these Palestinians and their descendants are refugees in neighbouring countries, the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and across the world. The forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, which have most recently grabbed headlines, demonstrate a continuation of this process of progressive occupation and dispossession of Palestinians from their lands....

Today’s protests in the UK and across the world highlight wide support from the international community to stand up for the rights of all Palestinians. While consensus recognising Israel as an apartheid state and its perpetration of crimes against humanity continues to grow, it is time for the UN to enforce sanctions on Israel and demonstrate, concretely, a firm commitment to the inherent dignity and worth of all Palestinians, who we must ensure will not be left behind."

Minority Rights Group International apartheid