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Palestinians file complaint to UN over Israel’s breach of anti-racism treaty

Israeli police arrest a Palestinian protester in the West Bank city of Ramallah, December 22, 2017. (Photo by AP )

Palestinian diplomats in Geneva have filed a complaint with the United Nations against Israel for resorting to discriminatory measures and violating its obligations under a UN anti-racism treaty only to maintain a “colonial occupation.”

The complaint was delivered by the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council Ibrahim Khraishi to the body that monitors the implementation of the UN convention against racism on Monday.

In the 350-page document seen by The Guardian, Palestinians say the Tel Aviv regime is implementing policies that have “the common aim of displacing and replacing the Palestinian people for the purpose of maintaining a colonial occupation.”

Palestinians listed several cases of rights violations by Israel in the occupied territories, accusing the regime of seeking to sustain “a Jewish demographic majority in the entirety of historic Palestine.”

“Not only is the purpose of the settlement regime discriminatory in itself, it is further maintained by a system of discriminatory measures, severely depriving Palestinians of their fundamental rights,” it said.

The complaint also said Palestinians are severely limited in their freedom of movement compared to Israeli settlers and are subject to “confiscation and seizure” of their land, including home demolitions.

It also said Israel violates the right to equal treatment before tribunals by using separate legal systems for Palestinians and settlers, and points to higher maximum sentences for Palestinian defendants.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), a body of 18 independent experts, is tasked with monitoring the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Israel ratified in 1979.

Palestinians, who were granted observer status at the UN General Assembly in 2012, signed the convention in 2014.

They say Israel is in breach of article 3 of the convention, which prohibits racial segregation and apartheid.

“It is clear that Israel’s acts are part of a widespread and oppressive regime that is institutionalized and systematic; that accords separate and unequal treatment to Palestinians,” Palestinians said, calling for the dismantling of all illegal Israeli settlements.

Earlier on Friday, Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour called on the world body to set up an independent commission to investigate Israeli crimes after four more Palestinians were killed in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The case is likely to spark a lengthy and high-profile investigation by world bodies monitoring racism and discrimination.

In recent weeks, Israel has been violently cracking down on peaceful mass demonstrations in Gaza against the regime’s occupation. Forty Palestinians have been killed during this time.

The regime in Tel Aviv has come under criticism in the international community by allowing its snipers to open fire on the unarmed protesters that come close to the fence.

The Tel Aviv regime occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and parts of Syria’s Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

Israel is required to withdraw from all the territories seized in the war under UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted months after the Six-Day War, in November 1967, but the Tel Aviv regime remains defiant.

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