Amnesty denounces the global “silence” on the situation in the Palestinian territories

LONDON: Amnesty International has criticized the world’s reluctance to discuss what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Reiterating claims from an Amnesty report published in February that Israel has engaged in a policy of apartheid against the Palestinian people, Secretary General Agnès Callamard said there was “too much fear to speak of” of the situation.

“This research took four years, it was field research, legal research and peer-reviewed experts,” Callamard said at an event in London this week.

“Territorial fragmentation, segregation and control, dispossession of land and property and denial of rights – these characteristics of apartheid are found in all areas, showing that Israel’s policy of apartheid is imposed on all Palestinians in the territory. that he controls.

“But there is too much silence, too much fear to speak out and by speaking out terms – apartheid, crimes against humanity – we expose the problem, open the wound and hope it can be fixed.”

Agreeing with Callamard, the director of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Hagai El-Ad, said “there is a single regime from the river to the sea and that regime is apartheid “.

El-Ad warned that, unable to fight on substance, the Israeli government was “fighting with slander”.

He added that admitting that the Israeli regime is inherently built around a policy of apartheid would mean “a chance to fight injustice and put an end to it”.

Callamard pointed out that the system of control exercised by Israel was not applied uniformly across all Palestinian areas under its control, but said its legal regime was designed to stratify and create boundaries between Palestinian communities.

This, she added, was intended not only to weaken ties between the groups, but also to weaken any dissent against the system.

“As a system it is cruel and frustrates hope in a way that I have rarely, rarely recognized elsewhere that I have been, and it is perhaps the most supreme act of cruelty – to deny generations the idea that life can be beautiful,” she continued. .

“For this reason, we pay great attention to the international community because it has a great responsibility and must act.”

Welcoming Amnesty’s recognition of Israeli apartheid, the director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Raji Sourani, described European states’ disavowal of the lived reality of Palestinians as something he does not couldn’t understand.

“The reality on the ground is denied by 29 European states – with its values ​​and standards, its ethics, I can’t stomach this European response,” Sourani told the panel.

“It’s just deceptive and covert, whitewashing, a crime. A crime that is obvious, clear and very well documented and Europe is doing this as if there is no conclusive lesson from what is happening. went to South Africa.

Noting that Palestine did not invent international humanitarian law, Sourani said she would nevertheless exhaust all her legal options to show that Israel had legal obligations.

He added: “One day we will overcome, we are strong.

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