Palestinians face numerous constructed complications throughout their daily lives, including long lines just to go from their homes to work, due to checkpoints and barriers. Likewise, Israeli media and politicians continue to label them as terrorists, and their neighborhoods are occupied by settlers. Moreover, a new law, which was passed by the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, defined the country as a Jewish state. The law has all the appearances of a move legalizing segregation and even apartheid.
The apartheid debates in Israel heated up once again after a lawyer and her baby were refused entry to a park in Galilee last week. The reason was that the lawyer was Palestinian. In the town of Afoula, Israeli authorities imposed a ban on the entry of Palestinians to the park, which includes a playground and basketball court. The park is used by Palestinians who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. After the lawyer raised awareness about the prohibition across Israel and in international media, an Israeli court took action and ordered to lift the ban. However, Israeli police were present at the park for ID inspections. "On Saturday, guards inspected identification cards at several entrances to Afoula Municipal Park, where families strolled past playgrounds and petting zoos and joggers ran along trails lined with Israeli flags," Reuters reported. A lawyer from Afoula made a statement, saying: "We don't argue with the law. If the law permits everyone to come inside this park, OK."
Israel has experienced similar cases before. Certain rights groups call Israel an apartheid state due to these types of practices. For instance, a website run by an anti-poverty charity based in London called War On Want argued that Israel was an apartheid state because the U.N. Apartheid Convention has been violated with the forcible transfer of Palestinians to make way for illegal Israeli settlements, preventing Palestinians from returning to their homes and lands, the systematic and severe deprivation of fundamental human rights of Palestinians based on their identity, denying Palestinians their right to freedom of movement and residence, murder, torture, unlawful imprisonment and other severe deprivations of physical liberty, especially of the Palestinians living in Gaza and the persecution of Palestinians because of their opposition to segregation.
Moreover, the most obvious segregative move by Israel was the wall that separates Palestinians and Israelis. Despite the fact that the U.N. and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) both found it illegal, the wall has stood for 15 years. Last week, the 15th anniversary of the construction of the wall was marked by protests.
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