Millions of Palestinians live under Israel’s system of apartheid, and at the heart of this violently racist system is the Palestinian experience of being pushed out of their homes and off their lands.
For over 73 years, Israel has created and maintained laws, policies, and practices that deliberately oppress Palestinians. This system works to ensure Jewish Israeli domination across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and affects Palestinian refugees as well.
The system is enforced by acts such as forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions and fragmentation of communities, unlawful killings, arbitrary detention and torture, separation of families, and the denial of nationality and citizenship rights to Palestinians.
In the Gaza Strip in 2022, hundreds of families lost their homes in Israeli attacks, adding to the thousands who lost their homes in at least four major military offensives since 2008. More than 1000 homes have not been rebuilt since the war in 2014 due to a lack of building materials caused by the Israeli blockade imposed for 15 years and counting. In the occupied West Bank, more than 150,000 Palestinians are at risk of losing their homes, with demolitions happening every week. Some 70,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel, residents of “unrecognized” villages, also face threats of forced displacement, in the context of systematic discrimination against Palestinian citizens’ right to housing.
Apartheid is a crime against humanity and is committed with the specific intent of maintaining a cruel system of control by one racial group over another. Israeli authorities’ inhumane acts amount to the crime of apartheid as proscribed by the Apartheid Convention and the Statute of the International Criminal Court. Our findings are built on a growing body of work by Palestinian, Israeli, and international NGOs and scholars who have increasingly applied the apartheid framework to the situation in Israel and the OPT.