South Africa: Israel Guilty of 'Apartheid' Crimes Against Palestinians, Says Human Rights Watch

South African demonstrators march to Parliament to protest against Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip.

The international monitoring body has accused Israel of committing crimes against humanity, of apartheid and of persecution against Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory and has called on the International Criminal Court and individual nations to investigate and prosecute those responsible.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says "Israeli authorities have deprived millions of people of their basic rights by virtue of their identity as Palestinians".

Conversely they "methodically privilege" Jewish Israelis, including settlers on the West Bank.

And so Israel has violated both the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid ("Apartheid Convention") and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch concludes in a detailed 217-page report, titled A Threshold Crossed; Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution.

Many of Israel's critics, including some in South Africa, label it as an "apartheid state". But Human Rights Watch explains that "the report does not set out to compare Israel with South Africa under apartheid or to determine whether Israel is an 'apartheid state' -- a concept that is not defined in international law".

Instead, the report concludes that specific acts and policies carried out by Israeli...

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