Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour has stressed the need for the international community to reject Israel’s vicious attempts to taint criticism of its crimes across the occupied territories.
In a letter addressed to the UN secretary-general, the head of the UN Security Council and the president of the UN General Assembly, Mansour wrote that Israel has been sparing no effort to demonize the rights groups which expose Israeli crimes, Wafa news agency reported.
“The situation in Occupied Palestine continues to worsen as Israel intensifies its human rights violations and war crimes against the Palestinian people,” said Mansour.
He said Israel has escalated its confiscation of Palestinian homes and lands and forced displacement of Palestinian civilians in and around East Jerusalem al-Quds.
“It is beyond apparent by now that this is all part of a systematic, deliberate plan to remove Palestinians – i.e. ethnically cleanse these areas – in preparation for annexation,” he said.
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement on Monday that Israeli officials have escalated their policy of demolishing Palestinian homes and structures and displacing Palestinians from their neighborhoods over the past four months, while building thousands of settler units in the area.
The Geneva-based organization said such practices aim to perpetuate racial discrimination and eliminate the Palestinian presence in the holy city.
During the first four months of 2021, forced evictions and the systematic destruction of residential homes have had severe physical, social, economic and psychological effects on the affected families, it said.
"These are crimes that may amount to ethnic cleansing," it said.
Palestinians say the demolitions and evictions carried out by Israeli authorities are part of their efforts to forcibly displace Palestinians and change the demographic character of the occupied city.
Elsewhere in the letter, Mansour said the international community must equally condemn the misuse of "anti-Semitism" by the Israeli regime, which has been using the term to cover up its crimes against Palestinians and evade prosecution at international tribunals.
“This has become a systematic policy that has even targeted Security Council members, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as international figures, who – in upholding their moral, legal, political and/or humanitarian obligations – dare to denounce Israel’s violations of the Palestinian people’s rights and its colonization of their land,” he said.
“We all need to fight anti-Semitism while rejecting the instrumentalization of the accusation of anti-Semitism to shield illegal actions from criticism and accountability, he added.
In February, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on new US President Joe Biden to defend free speech, including peaceful calls for a boycott of Israel, and publicly renounce his predecessor Donald Trump’s legacy of branding human rights groups and activists critical of Israel and its settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian lands as “anti-Semitic.”
The rights group recently denounced Israel for committing the crimes of “apartheid and persecution” against the Palestinians.
In a recent report, the New York-based group said it plans to forward its findings to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for due action.
Emboldened by Trump's anti-Palestine policies, Israel has stepped up its settlement expansion in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which pronounces settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”