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UN opts to distance itself from its commission’s report accusing Israel of apartheid

According to the document, "Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole."

UNITED NATIONS, March 16. /TASS/. The United Nations secretariat on Wednesday preferred to keep aloof from a UN commission report accusing Israel of establishing "an apartheid regime" against the Palestinian people.

The report - Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid - was authored by two critics of Israeli state practice, namely Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, and Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on human rights situation in Palestine and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, was published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the report that came under severe criticism by Israel and the United States was published without any prior consultations with the UN Secretariat and does not reflect the secretary general’s opinion.

According to the document, "Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole." The authors claim they have enough evidence to say that "Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law."

Although the term "apartheid" was originally used in respect of South Africa, Israel’s policy of segregation is muck line the one in South Africa as it "has left the Palestinian people fragmented into four distinct population groups, three of them (citizens of Israel, residents of East Jerusalem and the populace under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza) living under direct Israeli rule and the remainder, refugees and involuntary exiles, living beyond."

"This fragmentation, coupled with the application of discrete bodies of law to those groups, lie at the heart of the apartheid regime," the report reads. "They serve to enfeeble opposition to it and to veil its very existence. This report concludes, on the basis of overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid, and urges swift action to oppose and end it."

Presenting the report in Beirut, the commission’s executive secretary, Rima Khalaf, said that any model of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement will be unrealizable as long as the Israeli authorities continue their current policies.