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Amnesty Accuses Israel of Apartheid

INTERNATIONAL: Amnesty International has become the latest human rights organization to accuse Israel of apartheid for its treatment of Palestinians, prompting an angry response from Israel, which has denounced the report as anti-Semitic.

From the nearly 300-page report of Amnesty's , released Tuesday, details "inhuman or inhumane acts of forcible transfer, administrative detention, torture, unlawful killings and serious injuries, and the denial of basic rights and freedoms or persecution committed against the Palestinian population," creating "an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination over Palestinians."

"Amnesty International concludes that the State of Israel considers and treats Palestinians as an inferior non-Jewish racial group," it has added.

An Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, and from New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty's report examines Israeli policy in both the Palestinian territories, land occupied by Israel since 1967 but never formally annexed, and in Israel.

Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has pursued an explicit policy of establishing and maintaining a Jewish demographic hegemony and maximizing its control over land to benefit Jewish Israelis.

Israel denounced it as "false and biased."

In an online briefing with journalists held in advance of the report's publication, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat has said that Amnesty was "using double standards and demonization in order to

The term apartheid has originated in South Africa, where a system of racial segregation and "separate development" was official policy between 1948 and 1994. The system was designed to confine non-Whites to "self-governing Bantustans," stripping them of their citizenship, with a system of passes and identity papers controlling where non-Whites could travel and work.

Israel has always rejected comparisons with apartheid-era South Africa. Even some staunch Israeli critics of the occupation have argued that discrimination against Palestinians does not amount to intentional or institutional racism and is the result of genuine security fears.

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