Kalamar expresses shock.. Amnesty International report accuses Israel of racism and Palestinians welcome

The Secretary-General of Amnesty International (Amnesty) Agnes Callamard expressed her shock at what she described as the repression and crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinians, as stated in the organization’s report, which is considered the first of its kind, amid Palestinian welcome and Israeli anger.

“Our results may be shocking and disturbing, and you should,” Callamard said at a press conference in occupied Jerusalem.

The international organization revealed a number of what it described as the Israeli violations against the Palestinians, in a report entitled “The Israeli regime of domination and brutal oppression against the Palestinians.”

Kalamar stated in the press conference that the Israeli practices against the Palestinians violate international law, and called on Israel to put an end to the system of racial discrimination against the Palestinians.

She called on the international community to also act against what she described as the humanitarian crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinians.

Land plowing in Beersheba to prevent any geographical contiguity between Bedouin residential communities (Al-Jazeera)

some practices

In its report, Amnesty International enumerated a number of Israeli practices against the Palestinians, and said that they constitute the crime of apartheid against humanity, and considered stripping them of their homes and displacing them from the main pillars of this system.

It also referred to a number of these practices, including forcible transfer, administrative detention, torture, and unlawful killing, as part of a widespread and systematic attack against Palestinians.

The organization added that Israel treats the Palestinians as a demographic threat, and has imposed measures to control their presence, in addition to plans to Judaize areas, especially the West Bank.

In its report, it stated that Israel exercises unlimited oppression on the Palestinians, and grants privileges to the Jews in the distribution of land and resources.

Amnesty said that Palestinians suffer from institutional discrimination, due to the establishment of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Among the violations, the occupation imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, the lack of investment within Palestinian communities, and the prevention of the return of Palestinian refugees.

Al-Jazeera correspondent Guevara Al-Budairi indicated that this report is the first of its kind because it includes violations against the Palestinians within the Green Line, such as the Negev in the south and occupied Jerusalem.

She added that Kalamar was not only shocked by the content of the report, but also what she witnessed on the ground through her field visits to several areas such as the Negev and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and saw how the settlements besieged Palestinian towns in the West Bank, in addition to the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.

In April 2021, Human Rights Watch, the New York-based human rights organization, accused Israel of committing two “crimes against humanity” by pursuing a policy of “apartheid and persecution” against the Palestinians.

Fadi Al-Asa / Pictures of one of the demolished Palestinian houses, showing behind it the settlements built on the lands of the town of Nahalin, whose lands have been reduced by the occupation from 24,000 dunams to 5,000 dunamsTraces of a Palestinian house showing settlements built on the lands of Nahalin (Al-Jazeera)

Palestinian welcome

In response to the report, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, in a statement, welcomed Amnesty’s report, and said that it joins a long list of organizations and experts in the field of human rights who have worked to expose and expose the Israeli occupation.

The Foreign Ministry considered that the Israeli regime is based on oppression and systematic domination of the Palestinian people, while legitimizing colonial settlement.

For his part, Bassam al-Salihi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said, “It is a report that reflects the reality of the situation and confirms the Palestinian position for years, which he believed was the nature of the Israeli measures.”

He expressed his hope that Amnesty International and international human rights organizations, through the United Nations and all other international organizations, would work to end these Israeli measures and the occupation.

For its part, the Palestinian factions welcomed the results of the report, including the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which said that it considers with appreciation and respect the efforts of Amnesty International, in issuing its professional report that puts the facts in perspective.

Israeli attack

On the other hand, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid attacked Amnesty, saying that the report it published was fake and had nothing to do with reality.

Lapid accused Amnesty of anti-Semitism, saying, “I hate using the argument that if Israel weren’t a Jewish state, no one in Amnesty would dare speak out against it, but in this case there is no other possibility.”

North American Jewish Federations denounced the report as “irresponsibly distorting international law and delivering hateful and degrading rhetoric tied to old antisemitic definitions while ignoring or covering up violence, terrorism and incitement perpetrated by Palestinians.”

In Germany, Amnesty International called for it to distance itself from the report, which it described as anti-Semitic.

Callamard responded that “criticizing the practices of the State of Israel is not at all a form of anti-Semitism.”

“Amnesty stands strong against anti-Semitism and against any form of racism, and we have consistently condemned acts of anti-Semitism as well as anti-Semitism from many leaders around the world.”

Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, commented, “Israel is targeted as the only Jewish state. This biased and politicized report ignores Palestinian acts of terrorism and Israel’s commitment to defend its citizens against this same terrorism.”

The occupation forces arrested a Palestinian earlier in Hebron (European)

Euro-Mediterranean Observatory

For its part, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor strongly condemned the incitement attack launched by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Amnesty, and said – in a statement – that the Israeli Foreign Minister’s statements were “shameful and lacking in credibility and justice.”

The observatory said that these statements “come in the context of an Israeli approach based on intimidating individuals and entities that are active in defending human rights, and questioning their credibility, a matter that many human rights organizations and those in charge of them have previously been subjected to.”

He also stressed that Israel – rather than conducting a review of its discriminatory policies and gross violations of human rights – chose to attack Amnesty and describe the report as “accumulating and recycling lies originating from well-known anti-Israel hate organizations.”

The Observatory called on the international community to take urgent measures to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians from the violations of the occupation and the apartheid policies pursued by the Israeli authorities.

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