• Press Release

200K people demand an end to apartheid against Palestinians

March 21, 2023

Amnesty International offices around the world will today deliver petitions signed by more than 200,000 people to Israeli authorities, calling on them to put an end to the demolition of Palestinian homes as a first step towards dismantling apartheid. Amnesty International’s petition, Demolish Apartheid, Not Palestinian Homes, is addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has been signed by people in at least 174 countries.

Signatures are being submitted on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination -observed annually by the international community in commemoration of 69 peaceful anti-apartheid protesters who were killed by South African police on 21 March 1960.

“Israel’s discriminatory planning policies and systematic destruction of Palestinian homes exemplify the racism at the heart of its cruel system of apartheid. For decades, Israeli authorities have pursued their explicitly racist demographic aims by forcing Palestinians out of their homes and off their lands. Since the start of 2023 more than 400 Palestinians have been displaced as a result of demolitions and hundreds of thousands more are at risk,” said Heba Morayef, Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“Apartheid is a crime against humanity and a grave human rights violation. The ongoing failure to hold Israeli authorities accountable is a stain on the conscience of the international community. Today, Amnesty International’s demand for an end to this injustice is backed by 203,410 people from countries all over the world. This solidarity is a reminder that the chorus of voices speaking out against Israel’s apartheid is growing steadily louder. We will not be silent until apartheid has been dismantled and Israeli authorities held to account.”

With the UN Human Rights Council in session, Amnesty International is calling for member states to support decisions and resolutions aimed at ending Israel’s apartheid. This includes renewing funding for the UN database on businesses involved in activities in or with illegal settlements. States must also live up to their legal obligations and take steps to hold Israel accountable for its violations, including through Israel’s Universal Periodic Review, which takes place at the Human Rights Council on 9 May. Amnesty International reiterates its call on all states to pressure Israeli authorities into ending home demolitions, forcible transfers and settlement expansion; lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip; and ending impunity for unlawful attacks against Palestinians by the military and settlers.