UNDERSTANDING
APARTHEID

Apartheid is a severe violation of international law and absolutely prohibited for states. In addition, apartheid is defined as a crime against humanity by the UN’s 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime”
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court definition of apartheid

Inhumane acts of apartheid

In order to maintain racial domination, apartheid regimes carry out criminal acts against the oppressed population. These “inhumane acts” of apartheid are defined in the Apartheid Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Israel has committed a broad range of such inhumane acts of apartheid since 1948, including:

Forcible transfer of populations, including forcible displacement and confinement, forced exile and preventing Palestinians from returning to their homes and lands, revoking residency rights and the expropriation of Palestinian land for the benefit of Israel’s Jewish population.

Persecution – meaning systematic and severe deprivation of fundamental human rights – of Palestinians based on their identity.

Persecution of Palestinians because of their opposition to apartheid.

Murder, torture, unlawful imprisonment and other severe deprivation of physical liberty.

For further information on apartheid you check the BDS Movement website section on Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid or take a look at our resources section, where you can find a comprehensive list of articles, policy papers and UN reports on apartheid.