04/27/2021, 10.31
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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HRW: Israel's 'apartheid' policy on Palestinians. Calm restored in Jerusalem

The report states that the "domination" of one group over the other is underway, the result of a "systematic oppression" of a people victim of "inhuman acts". For Israel these are "absurd and false" accusations, the NGO harbors an "anti-Israeli" agenda. Barricades preventing access to the Old City removed.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Israel is committing the crime of "apartheid" against the Palestinians, with the aim of maintaining a Jewish "dominion" over the Palestinians and the Israeli Arab population itself.

This is the indictment contained in a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published this morning.

It states that Israel - under investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes - "is responsible for crimes against the 'humanity of apartheid and persecution”. The accusations were immediately rejected with disdain by the Israeli government.

The 213-page report titled "A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution” examines how Israel treats Palestinians. The document describes the presence of a single authority, the Israeli government, which controls an area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. A land populated by two more or less equal groups, but Israeli Jews always end up being privileged while Palestinians are subject to "more or less severe" repression in the context of an "occupied territory".

HRW examines the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, together with Israeli Arabs. In this context, an apartheid system would emerge defined by the "effort to maintain the domination of one racial group over another", characterized by "a systematic oppression of a dominant group over another more marginalized one" which is also the victim of "inhuman acts".

Israel disdainfully rejects all the accusations, defining them as "absurd and false" and the work of an NGO that "has been cultivating an anti-Israeli agenda for some time." The Israeli Foreign Ministry calls the report a "propaganda brochure" written by an organization that "has been actively promoting the boycott of Israel for years."

Meanwhile, the Israeli police have removed the barricades and authorized Palestinians access to the Old City, in Jerusalem, after the violent clashes in recent days between young Palestinians and members of Israeli far-right groups. As of yesterday, crowds of people were again visible near the Damascus Gate, a traditional meeting place for Palestinians during Ramadan, the holy month of Islamic fasting and prayer.

A police spokesman explains that the decision came following "consultations with the local management, with the religious leadership and also evaluating the needs of shopkeepers who need to earn a living, together with the need to lower the level of violence".

"Our forces - added the source - are still deployed on the ground and we will not allow violence to recur". Despite some moments of tension and some police arrests, the situation in the last few hours appears to be under control and the area remains open.

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