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Palestinian bodies submit report on Israel apartheid to UN human rights council

Palestinians hold banners reading 'Segregated and Unequeal' during a protest against Israeli restrictions in Hebron, West Bank on 28 August 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians hold banners reading 'Segregated and Unequeal' during a protest against Israeli restrictions in Hebron, West Bank on 28 August 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

A group of Palestinian and international civil society organisations have sent a joint submission on Israeli apartheid to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

According to the press release issued by the Gaza Strip-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the 13 human rights groups filed the written submission ahead of the UNHRC’s next session, which begins on 24 February.

“Submitting the report under item 9 of the Council’s agenda, on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance,” PCHR stated, “the organisations highlighted Israel’s creation and maintenance of an apartheid regime of systematic racial oppression and domination over the Palestinian people as a whole.”

The groups also referred to the dangers inherent in the Trump administration’s plan, echoing the warning of UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk that the plan “is not a recipe for a just and durable peace but rather endorses the creation of a 21st century Bantustan in the Middle East”.

READ: Trump’s deal will go ahead, because there is no real PA opposition to it

Despite this, PCHR’s statement continued, “a number of third States have welcomed the plan announced by the US administration, gravely defying the rules-based international order and their own obligations not to recognise as lawful situations resulting from breaches of peremptory norms of international law, and to cooperate to bring such breaches to an end.”

The groups have now called on the Human Rights Council and UN Member States to “recognise Israeli laws, policies, and practices enshrining an institutionalised regime of systematic racial domination and oppression over the Palestinian people as a whole, as amounting to apartheid.”

The groups further urge member states to “refrain in their international relations from rendering aid or assistance in the maintenance of Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people, including by opposing the US plan to further entrench the fragmentation of the Palestinian people.”

Another demand of the organisations is for the international community to pursue “accountability for widespread and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, including the crime of apartheid, by activating universal jurisdiction mechanisms to try suspected perpetrators in their own jurisdictions and by supporting the investigation into the situation in Palestine by the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

READ: Netanyahu calls for imposing sanctions on ICC

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