ARCHIVE: Kochav Yaakov, West Bank - 28 January 2021
1. Various aerial shots of a settlement ++MUTE++
Amman, Jordan - 26 April 2021
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Omar Shakir, Israel-Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW):
"While much of the world treats Israel's 54-year occupation as a temporary problem that a 30-year peace process will soon cure, the reality of apartheid and persecution has consolidated and metastasized on the ground. The reality today is that whatever solution you believe in, whether it's one-state, two-state or confederation, it's important that the world realize the reality on the ground for what it is and bring to bear the set of human rights and accountability tools necessary to end the situation of this gravity. Apartheid is the reality for millions of Palestinians today."
ARCHIVE: Adam, West Bank - 28 January 2021
3. Aerial of settlement ++MUTE++
Amman, Jordan - 26 April 2021
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Omar Shakir, Israel-Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW):
"The Israeli government today rules primarily over the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, where two groups of roughly equal size live. Across these areas, the Israeli government methodically privileges Jewish Israelis, governing them under a single system of laws and privileges, while at the same time systematically repressing Palestinians at various degrees of intensity based on where they live. The assumptions that underlie the international community's approach, the idea that this is a temporary situation, that a peace process will soon cure, have obscured this reality of Israel's entrenched, discriminatory rule over Palestinians. It is time to call a spade a spade, recognize reality for what it is. The reality for millions of Palestinians is apartheid and persecution."
Jerusalem - 26 April 2021
5. Establishing shot of Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative think tank in Jerusalem
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative think tank in Jerusalem:
"The report is nothing more than a propaganda document, full of factual misstatements, misrepresentations and entire alternate realities. The report goes beyond what even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the ICC have said. Just last week, Mahmoud Abbas made it clear that he does not think Israel is an apartheid state. The International Criminal Court, which has investigated Israel for years, has not concluded that Israel is an apartheid state. This report is nothing more than a fabrication of fantasy, misstatement and misrepresentation, which is fundamentally anti-Semitic because it's designed to delegitimize the Jewish state."
ARCHIVE: Abu Dis, West Bank - 24 June 2020
7. Drone shot tilting down to separation barrier ++MUTE++
The New York-based Human Rights Watch group said Tuesday that Israel is guilty of the international crimes of apartheid and persecution because of discriminatory policies toward Palestinians within its own borders and in the occupied territories.
In a sweeping, 213-page report, Human Rights Watch joins a growing number of commentators and rights groups who view the Middle East conflict not primarily as a land dispute between two parties, but as as a single regime in which Palestinians — who make up roughly half the population of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza — are systematically denied basic rights that are granted to Jews.
Israel adamantly rejects that characterization, saying it provides full rights to the Arab minority within its borders.
It views Gaza, from which it withdrew soldiers and settlers in 2005, as a hostile entity ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas, and it considers the West Bank to be disputed territory subject to peace negotiations — which collapsed more than a decade ago.
The Palestinian Authority has also accused Israel of apartheid, but because it is deeply invested in a two-state outcome, it tends to focus more on Israel's military occupation of lands it seeks for a future state.
The Human Rights Watch report focuses on the crimes of apartheid and persecution as defined by the International Criminal Court, which launched a probe into possible Israeli war crimes last month.
Israel rejects the court as being biased against it, but Israelis could be subject to arrest in other countries if the judges hand down warrants.
Citing public statements by Israeli leaders and official policies, HRW argues that Israel has "demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians" in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, coupled with "systematic oppression" and "inhumane acts."
"When these three elements occur together, they amount to the crime of apartheid," it said.
As to the charge of persecution, the group cited "grave abuses" in the occupied territories, including land confiscation, the systematic denial of building permits, home demolitions and "sweeping, decades-long restrictions on freedom of movement and basic human rights."
The lengthy report cites a wide range of policies that it says are aimed at ensuring a Jewish majority in Israel and lands it intends to keep, while largely confining Palestinians to scattered enclaves under overarching Israeli control, with policies that encourage Palestinians to leave.