Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

On October 4, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) delivered an oral intervention during the 54th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The statement was delivered by Basel Alsourani, PCHR's International Advocacy Officer, under Agenda item 7 on "Human Rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab Territories." It addressed Israeli apartheid, focusing on the statements made by Israeli National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, during a TV interview in which he publicly admitted to Israeli apartheid. During the interview, Itamar Ben-Gvir stated that Israeli rights were more important than those of Palestinians, a statement which he refused to apologize for.

The text of the oral statement continues:

"Itamar Ben Gvir's statements reflect the enduring reality in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and inside the Green Line as the Israeli government continues to impose a system of domination and oppression against Palestinians denying them their most basic rights, including their right to self-determination, in order to benefit Israeli Jews. This is not the first time that an Israeli minister has made such a statement. Several months earlier, Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, called for the wiping out of the Palestinian town of Howara.

"The existence of apartheid has become increasingly difficult to ignore considering the Israeli government policies, statements, and practices which clearly show an intent to pursue permanent annexation of Palestinian land based on Jewish supremacy. In addition, there has been growing recognition among Palestinian, Israeli, and International human rights organizations as well as experts, academics, and prominent individuals that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as well as inside the Green Line amounts to apartheid."

At the end of the statement, PCHR called on Member States of the UNHRC "to recognize, condemn, and dismantle Israel's apartheid system." PCHR also called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to include the crime against humanity of apartheid in his investigation into the situation and prosecute relevant perpetrators."

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 11 - October 2023

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