APARTHEID is a crime against humanity, giving rise to individual responsibility and state responsibility to bring the illegal situation to an end.
In May 2020, a large number of Palestinian civil society organisations called on all States to adopt ‘effective countermeasures, including sanctions, to end Israel’s unlawful acquisition of Palestinian territory through use of force, its regime of apartheid, and its denial of our inalienable right to self-determination’.
In June 2020, 47 independent human rights experts within the United Nations (UN) stated that the Israeli government plans to illegally annex large parts of the occupied West Bank would constitute ‘a vision of a 21st-century apartheid’.
Also in June, 114 Palestinian, regional, and international civil society organisations sent a strong message to UN member states that now is the time to recognise and confront Israel’s establishment and maintenance of an apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole, including Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line and Palestinian refugees and exiles abroad.
We further recall that, in December 2019, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) urged Israel to give full effect to Article 3 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which pertains to the prevention, prohibition, and eradication of all policies and practices of segregation and apartheid, on both sides of the Green Line.
As recently highlighted by South Africa at the UN Human Rights Council, ‘The CERD found … that the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people formed part of a policy and practice of segregation and apartheid. Annexation would be yet another example of complete impunity that makes a mockery of this Council and would gravely breach international law.’
In light of the mounting recognition of Israel’s maintenance of an apartheid regime over the Palestinian people, which will only continue to be entrenched through annexation, we, the undersigned Palestinian, regional, and international civil society organisations, urge the UN General Assembly to take urgent and effective actions to address the root causes of Palestinian oppression and to end Israel’s occupation, illegal blockade of Gaza, unlawful acquisition of Palestinian territory by force, its regime of apartheid over the Palestinian people as a whole, and the prolonged denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination and the right of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes, lands, and property.
In light of the above, we call on all Member States of the UN General Assembly to:
- Launch international investigations into Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole, as well as associated State and individual criminal responsibility, including by reconstituting the UN Special Committee against Apartheid and the UN Centre Against Apartheid to end apartheid in the 21st century.
- Ban arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel.
- Prohibit all trade with illegal Israeli settlements and ensure that companies refrain from and terminate business activities with Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
List of signatories from Palestine:
- Palestinian Human Rights Organisation Council (PHROC), consisting of:
1. Al Haq Organisation – Law in the Service of Mankind
2 Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
3 ADDAMEER Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
4 Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
5 DCI – Defence for Children International – Palestine
6 Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre
7 Aldameer Association for Human Rights
8 Ramallah Centre for Human Rights Studies
9 Hurryyat – Centre for Defence of Liberties and Civil Rights
10 The Independent Commission for Human Rights (Ombudsman Office) – Observer Member
11 Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights – Observer Member
- Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), including:
12. Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem
13. Arab Centre for Agricultural Development (ACAD)
14. The Ramallah Centre for Human Rights Studies
15. Psycho-Social Counselling centre for Women (Bethlehem)
16. Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society
17. Women’s Centre for Legal aid and Counselling (WCLAC)
18. Women Study Centre (WSC PAL)
19. Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees
20. Nawa for Culture and Arts Association
21. Al Karmel Association
22. Aisha Association for Women and Child Protection
23. The National Society for Rehabilitation
24. Baitona Association for Community and Development
25. Civic Coalition for the Defence of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem
List of international signatories:
26. Liga Argentina por los Derechos Humanos
27. Jóvenes con Palestina
28. Women in Black (Vienna)
29. La Via Campesina South Asia
30. La Centrale Generale-FGTB
31. European Trade Union Network For Justice in Palestine (ETUN)
33. Association Belgo-Palestinienne WB
34. Viva Salud
36. Vrede vzw
37. FOS vzw
38. Broederlijk Denle
39. Belgian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI)
40. ECCP (European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)
41. Coletivo Feminista Classista ANA MONTENEGRO
42. ESPPUSP – Estudantes em Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino (Students in Solidarity with the Palestinian People – USP)
43. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
44. Just Peace Advocates
45. BDS Colombia
46. Habitat International Coalition – Housing and Land Rights Network
47. Finnish-Arab Friendship Society
48. ICAHD Finland
49. Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine
50. Union syndicale Solidaires
There followed a further 181 signatories from organisations all across the world.