In an historic move, the Catalonia Parliament yesterday passed a resolution recognising that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people, becoming the first European parliament to do so.
The resolution accused Israel of applying a system that is “contrary to international law and is equivalent to the crime of apartheid as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 7.2 (h).”
Earlier on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch described Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip as “part of Israeli authorities’ crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against millions of Palestinians.”
In a report, marking the 15th anniversary of the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, HRW said: “Israel’s sweeping restrictions on leaving Gaza deprive its more than two million residents of opportunities to better their lives,” adding that the closure has devastated the economy in Gaza and contributed to fragmentation of the Palestinian people.
“Israel’s closure policy blocks most Gaza residents from going to the West Bank, preventing professionals, artists, athletes, students, and others from pursuing opportunities within Palestine and from travelling abroad via Israel, restricting their rights to work and an education. Restrictive Egyptian policies at its Rafah crossing with Gaza, including unnecessary delays and mistreatment of travellers, have exacerbated the closure’s harm to human rights,” it added.
Although the UN acknowledges Israel’s use of apartheid measures and policies against Palestinians, as well as its continued violation of international law in the West Bank, little has been done by the global institution or its member states to hold Tel Aviv to account.
Prominent human rights groups Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and B’Tselem have concluded that Israel meets the threshold for being designated as a country that practices apartheid and crimes against humanity.