The practice of racial discrimination is a crime against humanity under the Universal Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes of Apartheid, the Crimes against Peace and Security of Humanity Bill and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The mentioned laws define the practices and policies of apartheid and systematic oppression with the aim of establishing and perpetuating racial control of one group over another.
In 2011, the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination concluded that Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they may be found, amounts to a single integrated system of apartheid, and these conclusions were echoed in the 2019 CERD observations, which called on Israel to eliminate the policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination that affect the Palestinian people severely and disproportionately on both sides of the Green Line (the line dividing the borders of historical Palestine and the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 AD).
Israel has passed a set of laws that frame apartheid against the Palestinians, the most important of which are:
The discriminatory Israeli Law of Return (1950)
This law grants free immigration rights to Jews and their families. The law states that Israeli citizenship is granted to every Jew who expresses his desire to settle in Israel and that every Jew has the right to come to the country as an immigrant to the modern state. The law refers exclusively to the Jewish immigrant; whereas the Israeli Citizenship Law (1952) clearly states that, under the Law of Return, every “immigrant” becomes an Israeli citizen. On the other hand, seven million Palestinians were forced to seek refuge during the Nakba (1948) and the Naksa (1976), and their right to return and self-determination has been denied since that time.
The Israeli Basic Law
This law states that the nation-state of the Jewish people, “The Land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, and on its basis the State of Israel was established.” Thus, the law implicitly erases the historical memory of the Palestinian people in historic Palestine and limits the right to self-determination in the State of Israel to the Jewish people exclusively. It also considers the Hebrew calendar as the official calendar of the state, and the Hebrew language is the official language.
Citizenship and nationality laws
These laws subjected the Palestinian people to the control of the Jewish majority while dividing and separating Palestinian areas from each other. For example, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are, with a few exceptions, legally prohibited from obtaining Israeli citizenship and residency in Israel.
Laws Legalizing Land Conquest
Israel has implemented legislative measures to expropriate Palestinian land, although both are criminalized under Article 2 of the Apartheid Convention law.
The Colonial Project of Israeli Settlements
These were mainly based on the widespread and systematic confiscation of Palestinian refugee land and property of persons classified as “absentees” or “persons who were expelled, fled, or left the country after November 29, 1947, mainly because of the war.” After that, their lands and properties were redistributed to the Israeli settlers by the newly established Development Authority, which resulted in the settlement of approximately three million acres of Palestinian land.
Our organization confirms that this would not have been possible without international complicity with Israel by considering it a state above the law, unlike other states, as the United States declines any draft resolution to condemn Israel internationally. Competent international courts have not been able to implement any international resolution against it.
We strongly demand an end to the occupation which is behind all other violations taking place by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories and against the Palestinians inside Israel who became third-class citizens after the establishment of another state on their lands.