A UN special rapporteur on Monday accused Israel of committing the crime of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories.
UN-appointed investigator, Michael Lynk, has been investigating rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories. He said the situation on the ground met the legal definition of apartheid set out by international law.
The system, he added, ensures Israeli domination over Palestinians.
“In the Palestinian territory that Israel has occupied since 1967, there are now five million stateless Palestinians living without rights, in an acute state of subjugation, and with no path to self-determination or a viable independent state which the international community has repeatedly promised is their right,” he wrote in an advance copy of his report.
“The differences in living conditions and citizenship rights and benefits are stark, deeply discriminatory and maintained through systematic and institutionalized oppression,” the report said.
The Canadian law professor’s report is the first time a UN-appointed investigator has accused Israel of apartheid. However, it adds to a growing number of rights groups who have raised concern about the apartheid system Israel is maintaining on the ground.
Israel says Lynk’s analysis, like that of rights groups before him, are baseless and are a smear campaign against its existence.
“This report recycles baseless and outrageous libels previously published by NGOs that share the same goal as the author of this report: to delegitimize and criminalize the State of Israel for what it is: the Nation-State of the Jewish People, with equal rights for all its citizens, irrespective of religion, race or sex,” it said in a statement.