The Israeli occupation authorities “must dismantle the system of apartheid which is causing so much suffering and bloodshed” in the occupied Palestinian territories, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.
“Since the organisation launched a major campaign against apartheid one year ago, Israeli forces have killed almost 220 Palestinians, including 35 in January 2023 alone,” added the human rights group. “Unlawful killings help maintain Israel’s apartheid system and constitute crimes against humanity, as do other serious and ongoing violations by Israeli authorities such as administrative detention and forcible transfer.”
Amnesty noted that, over the past few days, a series of deadly attacks has underscored the urgent need for accountability. “On 26 January,” for example, “Israeli forces carried out a raid on Jenin refugee camp and killed 10 Palestinians, including a 61-year-old woman.”
Another example of Israeli aggression cited by the organisation has apparently been made in response to a Palestinian attack on Jewish settlers in an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.
“In response to this attack, Israeli authorities have stepped up collective punishment against Palestinians, carrying out sweeping mass arrests and threatening punitive home demolitions.”
This has exposed the “deadly cost of the system of apartheid, under which the Israeli authorities control virtually every aspect of Palestinians’ lives and subject them to daily oppression and discrimination through territorial fragmentation and legal segregation.
“Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are segregated into separate enclaves, with those living in the Gaza Strip isolated from the rest of the world through Israel’s illegal blockade, which has caused a humanitarian crisis and is a form of collective punishment.”
All of Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem are illegal under international law. Moreover, collective punishment is akin to a war crime.