Germany has expressed its rejection of a recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) describing Israeli practices toward Palestinians as amounting to "the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution."
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert that the international human rights watchdog's assumption that "Israel is committing the international law crime of apartheid is explicitly not endorsed by the federal government," Anadolu Agency reported.
"We don't think that is a correct assessment," Seibert added.
Released last week, the 213-page report entitled, A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution, "examines Israel's treatment of Palestinians. It presents the present-day reality of a single authority, the Israeli government, ruling primarily over the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size, and methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory," the rights group said.
"Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the trajectory of Israel's rule over Palestinians does not change," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "This detailed study shows that Israeli authorities have already turned that corner and today are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution."
Roth also noted: "Denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish, is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation. These policies, which grant Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminate against Palestinians to varying degrees wherever they live, reflect a policy to privilege one people at the expense of another."