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Rights centre to UN: Israel breaching convention against racial discrimination

Palestinian Maghribi family collect their belongings amid ruins of their house after Israeli authorities demolished the top part of it in Jabal Al-Mukaber of East Jerusalem on 28 November, 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians collect their belongings amid ruins of their house after Israeli authorities demolished their home on 28 November 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

A legal rights centre has told a United Nations committee that Israel has failed to comply with its 2012 recommendations to reverse racially discriminatory practices.

Adalah has submitted two reports to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination (CERD), ahead of the committee’s preliminary questions to the State of Israel, regarding its compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The two reports cover “violations of the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel” and “violations of the rights of Arab Bedouin citizens in the Naqab/Negev”, the latter a joint submission with the Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF).

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CERD will review Israel at its upcoming session in Geneva on 4-5 December.

According to Adalah, the reports highlight “Israel’s failure to comply with the committee’s previous concluding observations and recommendations to reverse many of the state’s racially discriminatory practices”, as well as provide an update on developments since 2012.

Adalah’s submission, among other issues, describes “violations of the right to equality, particularly after the enactment of the Jewish Nation-State Law, which constitutionally enshrines the ethnic-religious identity of the state as exclusively Jewish.”

It also includes “policies of demographic control, as manifested through discriminatory citizenship laws like the Law of Return; [and] the ongoing ban on family unification between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).”

The submission on Bedouin citizens, meanwhile, highlights a “history of forced displacement, which continues to this day through the state’s non-recognition of Bedouin land ownership in the Naqab, its refusal or negligence to provide basic services particularly to unrecognized villages, and its plans to forcibly urbanize Bedouins into impoverished, concentrated townships.”

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