Israel accused of 'apartheid' crimes against Palestinians by US-based rights group
Israel has been accused by Human Rights Watch of crimes against humanity by pursing policies of "apartheid" and persecution against Palestinians.
The US-based rights watchdog will be sharing the report with the International Criminal Court ICC), who just weeks ago announced it would formally investigate war crimes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
This was after ICC judges ruled that the court had jurisdiction there. Israel says it does not recognize the court's authority.
Human Rights Watch is calling on the ICC prosecutor to investigate and prosecute individuals credibly implicated in apartheid and persecution.
The group points to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement. And seizure of Palestinian-owned land for Jewish settlement in territory occupied in the 1967 Middle East war as examples.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the report.
The word apartheid is often associated with South Africa. Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. The system was characterized by an authoritarian political culture based on white supremacy, which ensured that South Africa was dominated politically, socially, and economically by the nation's minority white population.
Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man who was the father of five children, and injured his wife, earlier in April at a temporary checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.
Witnesses say the soldiers killed Mansour for no apparent reason, part of what rights groups say is a pattern of fatal shootings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.
“These kinds of things happen in Palestine almost every day, but you hope that it will never happen to you or your family,” said Imran Mansour, who witnessed the killing.
“Osama isn’t the first, nor will he be the last Palestinian who is killed in cold blood, for no reason, by the Israelis,” Imran said.
The soldiers' crime echoes that over the high-profile police killings of Black Americans in the United States.