The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) team investigating last May’s war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas met in Jordan on Thursday with an Arab-Palestinian delegation from Israel which presented allegations of systemic discrimination by Israel. The meeting took place in Jordan’s capital Amman due to Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation or permit committee members to enter the country and the occupied Palestinian territories.
The chairman of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee Mohammad Barakeh (Photo: Al-Ittihad)
The team was established by a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution adopted on 27 May 2021, against the backdrop of the April-May 2021 events in the occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem, and in Israel. The three commissioners heading the team are Navi Pillay (South Africa), Miloon Kothari (India), and Chris Sodoti (Australia).
The delegation, led by chairman of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee Mohammad Barakeh, a leading member of the Communist Party of Israel and former Hadash MK; and lawyers from the Adalah rights group, met the UN officials
Barakeh stressed the dangers of the Jewish Nation-State Law, which reinforces Jewish supremacy and racism, especially its first clause which prescribes that all historic Palestine is the historical homeland of the Jewish people. “This law constitutes modern-day apartheid, joining decades of Israeli apartheid from the demolition of more than 500 villages and the displacement of the Palestinian people, who, to date, cannot return to their homes,” he said.
He also expressed deep concern about Israeli authorities giving out weapons to right-wing settler groups, especially after Israel’s Prime Minister called on citizens, earlier this week, to take up arms and use them against Arabs in the streets.
Adalah presented key human rights violations against Palestinian citizens of Israel during the May 2021 events. These violations included extreme police brutality against demonstrators; the unwillingness of Israel to investigate and prosecute those responsible for injuring and killing, both police and Jewish Israeli citizens; and the police collusion with far-right Jewish Israelis who incited against Palestinian citizens of Israel on social media and came to mixed Arab-Jewish cities and attacked residents. Adalah stressed here that Israel is operating two separate systems of law enforcement, based solely on ethnic and national affiliation resulting in systemic discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.