Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel Of Apartheid

Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world. We are roughly 450 people of 70-plus nationalities who are country experts, lawyers, journalists, and others who work to protect the most at risk, from vulnerable minorities and civilians in wartime, to refugees and children in need.

In it’s 213-page report, Human Rights Watch says the term apartheid has been used in a “descriptive or comparative” sense in relation to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and as a warning of what might happen if current trajectories continue.

After decades of warnings, the report says that “threshold” into a crime against humanity has already been crossed. “The Israeli government has demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the occupied Palestinians territory,” reads the report. “That intent has been coupled with systematic oppression of Palestinians and inhumane acts committed against them. When these three elements occur together, they amount to the crime of apartheid,” it concludes.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed the report as fiction, and accused the organization as being anti Israeli.

The report comes three months after a similar publication by Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, also accused Israel of becoming an “apartheid regime.”

“The traditional view of Israel as a democracy living side-by-side with a temporary Israeli occupation in the territories “imposed on some five million Palestinian subjects … has grown divorced from reality.”

It also comes just weeks after the International Criminal Court in the Hague announced it was pursuing a war crimes investigation against Israel with a focus, among other things, on Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank. 

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh welcomed the report and said it was time for the international community to bear its responsibilities.

“The traditional situation, where many countries worldwide announce their position against occupation without actual sanctions and without revising their relations and agreements with Israel on the different diplomatic, cultural, and trade relations, can and should not continue,” he said in a statement.

The Biden administration’s policies regarding Israel is a return to traditional positions like consultations with both sides and support of a two-state solution which disagrees with annexation, settlement building, and the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israel. By contrast, the Trump administration hardly spoke to the Palestinians for three years. Biden administration lays out its policies on Israel-Palestine at the UN (


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