Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cape Town Session: Russell Tribunal on Palestine

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Cape Town Session. Summary of Findings, November 07, 2011

".....Following the hearings and the deliberations of the jury, the findings of the third session of Russell Tribunal on Palestine, held in Cape Town on 5-6 November 2011, are summarised as follows.

I. Apartheid

The Tribunal finds that Israel subjects the Palestinian people to an institutionalised regime of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international law. This discriminatory regime manifests in varying intensity and forms against different categories of Palestinians depending on their location. The Palestinians living under colonial military rule in the occupied Palestinian territory are subject to a particularly aggravated form of apartheid. Palestinian citizens of Israel, while entitled to vote, are not part of the Jewish nation as defined by Israeli law and are therefore excluded from the benefits of Jewish nationality and subject to systematic discrimination across the broad spectrum of recognised human rights. Irrespective of such differences, the Tribunal concludes that Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they reside, collectively amounts to a single integrated regime of apartheid.....

II. Persecution as a Crime against Humanity

Much of the evidence heard by the Tribunal relating to the question of apartheid is also relevant to the separate crime against humanity of persecution, which can be considered in relation to Israeli practices under the principle of cumulative charges. Persecution involves the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights of the members of an identifiable group in the context of a widespread and systematic attack against a civilian population. The Tribunal concludes that the evidence presented to it supports a finding of persecution in relation to the following acts:

- the siege and blockade of the Gaza Strip as a form of collective punishment of the civilian population;

- the targeting of civilians during large-scale military operations;

- the destruction of civilian homes not justified by military necessity;

- the adverse impact on the civilian population effected by the Wall and its associated regime in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem;

- the concerted campaign of forcible evacuation and demolition of unrecognised Bedouin villages in the Negev region of southern Israel......"

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