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Israeli Embassy slams Human Rights Watch report accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’ against Palestinians

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Weeks after the International Criminal Court disclosed that it would investigate war crimes in Palestinian territories, Human Rights Watch published a 200+ page report that accused Israel of persecuting Palestinians. The report claims that some of Israel’s policies constitute apartheid.

“Across Israel and the (Palestinian territories), Israeli authorities have pursued an intent to maintain domination over Palestinians by exercising control over land and demographics for the benefit of Jewish Israelis,” the report reads.

“On this basis, the report concludes that Israeli officials have committed the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution,” as defined under the 1973 Apartheid Convention and the 1998 Rome Statute.

But the Embassy of Israel to the United States denies all the claims in the report.

“We strongly reject the false accusations that Human Rights Watch is spreading about Israel,” the embassy said in a comment to this reporter. “Their decision not to share this report for review or seek comment with any Israeli authority is a clear indication that it is a propaganda pamphlet lacking all credibility. This report is filled with lies that have no connection to facts or the reality on the ground and as such we do not intend to address it.”

The embassy also discredited the report because of Omar Shakir’s involvement. Shakir is the Israel and Palestine Director for the HRW and they say he is “a well-known BDS supporter, whose working visa in Israel was not extended after he was found to be involved in promoting anti-Israel boycotts.”

In 2017, Israel denied Shakir’s visa. Then, in 2019 Israel High Court of Justice threw out Shakir’s appeal over the matter.

In response to the Embassy’s statement, Human Rights Watch told this reporter after this story was first published, that while it is true Shakir was denied a visa, he and the organization do not support BDS.

“It is true that Israel deported Omar Shakir, our Israel-Palestine director. They claim he supported BDS, which he did not, and neither does Human Rights Watch. So in short, he does not have a visa, that is true. But he did not promote BDS.”

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Senior Saudi official says Iran ‘engineered’ war in Gaza and ‘should have been stopped a long time ago’

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Although it has been widely believed, a senior Saudi Arabian official has accused Tehran of having “engineered a war in Gaza” for the purpose to interfere with Jerusalem’s attempts to normalize relations with Riyadh. The unnamed official then described the regime as “a country that sponsors terrorism, and it should have been stopped a long time ago.”

In an interview with Israel’s Kan public broadcaster, the anonymous individual said that “any suspicious object” entering his country’s airspace is intercepted by the Kingdom’s defense forces. The comment may suggest that there was some level of participation by the Saudis in neutralizing the missiles and attack drones that the Islamic Republic fired at Israel on Saturday, notes Foreign Desk News. 

Reports have confirmed that the American, British, French, and Jordanian militaries assisted the IDF in the air defenses during the bombardment.

Foreign Desk News states of the improving relations between Israel and its neighbors:

In 2020, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco signed normalization agreements with the Jewish state under the direction of the Trump administration, in what was called the Abraham Accords. The following January, Sudan would also join the reconciliation.

Any diplomatic understandings between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be seen as a big boost to regional security, considering the Kingdom is often viewed as the most powerful Arab-majority country in the world.

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