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Palestine PM urges UNICEF, UN bodies to follow up on HRW report about Israeli apartheid

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file picture, Israeli military forces arrest a Palestinian boy in an area of the occupied West Bank on February 11, 2020. (Via Twitter)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called United Nations bodies, particularly the Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to follow up on a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which says Israel is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

During a meeting with Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, in Ramallah on Monday, Shtayyeh demanded greater efforts by international organizations in order to prevent Israel’s crimes against Palestinian children and help stop the regime’s violations of international law and humanitarian principles.

He also stressed the need for the formation of an international front to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

The HRW said in a report on April 27 that Israel is committing “crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution” against Palestinians, and called on the international community to reevaluate diplomatic relations with the regime.

“While much of the world treats Israel’s half-century occupation as a temporary situation that a decades-long ‘peace process’ will soon cure, the oppression of Palestinians there has reached a threshold and a permanence that meets the definitions of the crimes of apartheid and persecution,” Kenneth Roth, executive director of the leading human rights group, said at the time.

He added, “Those who strive for Israeli-Palestinian peace, whether a one or two-state solution or a confederation, should in the meantime recognize this reality for what it is and bring to bear the sorts of human rights tools needed to end it.”

Earlier this year, B’Tselem, an Israeli advocacy group, called Israel an “apartheid regime” that systematically oppressed the Palestinians via military occupation and racist laws.

The international movement of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) also said last month that the Israeli regime’s treatment of Palestinians amounted to “apartheid.”

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza but has been occupying the other territories ever since.

Palestine urges ICC to stop eviction of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah

Separately, Palestine called on Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda to stand against the Israeli regime’s actions against a group of Palestinians facing imminent eviction from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Riyad al-Maliki, in a letter addressed to Bensouda, urged The Hague-based tribunal to adopt a clear and public position against crimes perpetrated by the Tel Aviv regime against the Palestinian residents of the area, who say Israeli authorities intend to force them out and replace the district with an illegal settlement.

The top Palestinian diplomat also condemned the latest decision of the so-called Israeli Supreme Council on Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as “unacceptable and inadmissible,” stating that the move completely contradicts international law, particularly as it gives settlers the right to make false claims based on forged papers.

Maliki underlined that the measure constitutes a flagrant violation and reflects the extent of the court’s involvement in legitimizing and covering up the crimes of Israeli officials and settlers in their theft of Palestinian lands and conspiracies against Palestinian people, particularly in the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday gave four Palestinian families from Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood until Thursday to reach a deal with Israeli settlers regarding the ownership of their homes.

The deal proposed by the court requires the Palestinian families to pay the settlers to rent their homes until the current owners pass away and then assign the properties to the settlers, not to their heirs.

The Palestinian families have refused the proposal, considering it a recognition of the claimed demands of the settlers.


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