The Human Rights Watch (HRW)'s report about "Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution" topped the list of its most-read reports issued in 2021.
According to the NGO, the report was not a current event. Unlike other reports, it was written as an overview on the greater Israel-Palestine conflict.
The report outlined Israel's persecution and discrimination against millions of Palestinian nationals in the illegally occupied West Bank and Gaza.
HRW's report on Israel's persecution of Palestinians ranked higher than reports on topics including sexual violence against women in India, extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, digital sex crimes in South Korea and others.
"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," the report said.
"In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. These deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution."
Prior to HRW's report, which was released in April, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem branded Israel an "apartheid" state that "promotes and perpetuates Jewish supremacy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River." Echoing the UN's 2017 report which concluded that Israel was practising apartheid, B'Tselem dismissed the popular misconception that it is a democracy within the Green (1949 Armistice) Line.
In June, two former Israeli ambassadors to South Africa also denounced Israel as an apartheid state by drawing parallels with the system of racial segregation in South Africa which ended in 1994.