SABC News - The Russel Tribunal finds Israel guilty of apartheid:Monday 7 November 2011

The Russel Tribunal finds Israel guilty of apartheid

Monday 7 November 2011 12:54

SABC

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign group has been calling for SA government to speak out against Israel's unfair treatment of Palestianians.(SABC)

The Russel Tribunal has found that Israel practices apartheid against Palestinians. This is part of its conclusions following a weekend of testimony in Cape Town. 

It has also found that  Palestinians are denied their basic human rights and face severe discrimination. 

The tribunal has no legal powers, but acts as a court of the people aimed at correcting alleged injustices against Palestinians. 

 The Israeli military has been accused of restricting access to land, natural resources and water for Palestinians and limiting their movement in the West Bank.  

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies says its proceedings in Cape Town are an expensive and futile exercise. 

Its spokesperson, Alan Fisher says: "We are very concerned about this trail because this simply a show trail its a kangoroo court where the verdict has already been decided. And now the facts are going to be used to fit the verdict. I believe this makes a mockery of justice, a mockery of fairness."

Vavi said current developments in the Middle East are similar to the dark days of apartheid.

Speaking at the Russell Tribunal yesterday, Cosatu general-secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said South Africa must redouble its efforts to assist Palestinians. 

He said current developments in the Middle East are similar to the dark days of apartheid.

"I feel ashamed that we as a nation have not rallied behind the cause of the Palestinians, we were the recipients of solidarity all over the world, what they are going through is much worse then under apartheid system."

Meanwhile, Cosatu says it has learnt with shock that the Israeli government is threatening to withdraw the citizenship of a human rights activist who testified at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in Cape Town at the weekend. 

Haneen Zoabi is a Palestinian living in Israel. She currently works as an opposition politician in the Israeli Parliament. 

She's testified, along with several prominent people, against the oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank. 

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