West Bank plan will create ‘apartheid’ warn UN experts

Photo from AFP: A Palestinian child stands at his family land east of Tubas in the Jordan Valley on Monday. The Jordan Valley is included in Israel's annexation plan

Israel’s plan to take a large part of the West Bank from the Palestinians, begining on 1 July, has predictably been predictably soundly condemned and is being resisted by the Palestinians. It is also raising the ire of the international community. Now, a group of experts at the United Nations are saying that the land grab amounts to the creation of a new form of apartheid. Read the following from (AFP 16 June 2020) for more about what is going on.

Israel’s plan to annex nearly a third of the West Bank is a vision of “21st-century apartheid”, a large group of independent United Nations experts warned Tuesday.

Photo by Jack Giez/AFP: Palestinians 6 June in Israel’s Tel Aviv Rabin Aquare protest the intention to take the West Bank

The experts said the annexation would be a “serious violation” of the United Nations charter and the Geneva Conventions, and would only intensify human rights violations in the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims to begin a process of annexing West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley from July 1, as part of a US peace initiative.

The experts said the 53-year Israeli occupation of the West Bank had been the source of “profound human rights violations” against the Palestinians, chiefly the denial of the right of self-determination among a long list of other alleged violations.

Photo from AFP: Palestinians burn pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the West Bank city of Nablus.

“These human rights violations would only intensify after annexation,” the experts said.

“What would be left of the West Bank would be a Palestinian Bantustan, islands of disconnected land completely surrounded by Israel and with no territorial connection to the outside world.

“Israel has recently promised that it will maintain permanent security control between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

“Thus, the morning after annexation would be the crystallisation of an already unjust reality: Two peoples living in the same space, ruled by the same state, but with profoundly unequal rights. This is a vision of a 21st-century apartheid.”

The more than 40 independent special rapporteurs along with a range of UN working groups on various rights issues who signed the statement do not speak for the UN but report their findings to it.

The experts said that Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem in 1980 and the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981 saw condemnation but no meaningful response from the international community.

“This time must be different,” they said.

“The lessons from the past are clear: Criticism without consequences will neither forestall annexation nor end the occupation.”

The experts voiced “great regret” about Washington’s role in “supporting and encouraging Israel’s unlawful plans”, saying the United States should be “ardently opposing” an imminent breach of international law “rather than actively abetting its violation”.

Photo from AFP: Netanyahu speaking at launch of new illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank named after annexation backer Donald Trump

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