”3. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle;”

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 324629 NOVEMBER 1974Importance of the universal realization of the right of peoples to self determination and of the speedy granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights

The General Assembly,

Reaffirming its faith in resolution 11514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, and resolution 2621 (XXV) of 12 October 1970, containing the programme of action for the full implementation of that Declaration,

Recalling, inter alia, its resolutions 2588 B (XXIV) of 15 December 1969, 2787 (XXVI) of 6 December (XXXVII) of 13 December 1972, 2963 E 2 November 1973 and 3070 (XVIII) of 30 November 1973, and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Noting with appreciation the reports of the Secretary-General, 1/

Noting with satisfaction the assurances given by the Government of Portugal that it will fulfil its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and comply with United Nations resolutions relevant to the right of the peoples under Portuguese administration to self-determination and independence,

Indignant at the continued repression and the inhuman and degrading treatment inflicted on peoples still under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, especially on individuals detained or imprisoned as a result of their struggle for self-determination and independence,

Reaffirming that the independence of Southern Rhodesia should not be negotiated with the illegal regime but with the authentic and recognized representatives of the Rhodesian people,

Mindful of its responsibility to evolve all possible measures which will enable oppressed peoples to attain independence and self-determination, and in this regard deploring the obstructive attitude of certain Member states,

Recognizing the imperative need to put an early end to colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation,

1. Reaffirms the inalienable right of all peoples under colonial rule, foreign domination and alien subjugation to self-determination, freedom and independence in conformity with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) and other relevant resolutions of the United Nations;

2. Renews its call to all States to recognize the right to self-determination and independence of all peoples subject to colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation and to offer them moral, material and other forms of assistance in their struggle to exercise fully their inalienable right to self-determination and independence;

3. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle;

4. Demands full respect for the basic human rights of all individuals detained or imprisoned as a result of their struggle for self-determination and independence, and strict respect for article 5 of the Universals declaration of Human Rights under which no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their immediate release;

5. Welcomes the recognition by the Government of Portugal of the right of all the peoples under its colonial administration to self-determination and independence, and the initiatives already taken in this regard;

6. Urges the Government of Portugal to continue to ensure that the process of decolonizations, which will enable peoples still under its colonial administration to achieve self-determination and independence, is accomplished without delay;

7. Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people;

8. Further strongly condemns the policies of those members of the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization and those countries whose military, economic, sporting or political relations with the racist regimes of southern Africa and elsewhere encourage these regimes to persist in their suppression of the aspirations of peoples for self-determination and independence;

9. Calls upon those countries to reconsider their policies and to sever all links with the racist regimes of south Africa and Southern Rhodesia;

10. Renews its appreciation to Governments, United Nations agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations for their efforts in extending various forms of assistance to peoples in dependent Territories and appeals to them to increase such assistance;

11. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to assist the specialized agencies and other organizations within the United Nations system in working out measures for the provision of increased international assistance to the peoples of colonial Territories;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on the implementation of the present resolution to the General Assembly at its thirtieth session.











More than 14 million people, roughly half of them Jews and the other half Palestinians, live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea under a single rule. The common perception in public, political, legal and media discourse is that two separate regimes operate side by side in this area, separated by the Green Line. One regime, inside the borders of the sovereign State of Israel, is a permanent democracy with a population of about nine million, all Israeli citizens. The other regime, in the territories Israel took over in 1967, whose final status is supposed to be determined in future negotiations, is a temporary military occupation imposed on some five million Palestinian subjects.

Over time, the distinction between the two regimes has grown divorced from reality. This state of affairs has existed for more than 50 years – twice as long as the State of Israel existed without it. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers now reside in permanent settlements east of the Green Line, living as though they were west of it. East Jerusalem has been officially annexed to Israel’s sovereign territory, and the West Bank has been annexed in practice. Most importantly, the distinction obfuscates the fact that the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians. All this leads to the conclusion that these are not two parallel regimes that simply happen to uphold the same principle. There is one regime governing the entire area and the people living in it, based on a single organizing principle.

When B’Tselem was founded in 1989, we limited our mandate to the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, and refrained from addressing human rights inside the State of Israel established in 1948 or from taking a comprehensive approach to the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Yet the situation has changed. The regime’s organizing principle has gained visibility in recent years, as evidenced by the Basic Law: Israel – the Nation State of the Jewish People passed in 2018, or open talk of formally annexing parts of the West Bank in 2020. Taken together with the facts described above, this means that what happens in the Occupied Territories can no longer be treated as separate from the reality in the entire area under Israel’s control. The terms we have used in recent years to describe the situation – such as “prolonged occupation” or a “one-state reality” – are no longer adequate. To continue effectively fighting human rights violations, it is essential to examine and define the regime that governs the entire area.

This paper analyzes how the Israeli regime works to advance its goals in the entire area under its control. We do not provide a historical review or an evaluation of the Palestinian and Jewish national movements, or of the former South Africa regime. While these are important questions, they are beyond the purview of a human rights organization. Rather, this document presents the principles that guide the regime, demonstrates how it implements them and points to the conclusion that emerges from all of this as to how the regime should be defined and what that means for human rights.

n the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians. A key method in pursuing this goal is engineering space differently for each group.

Jewish citizens live as though the entire area were a single space (excluding the Gaza Strip). The Green Line means next to nothing for them: whether they live west of it, within Israel’s sovereign territory, or east of it, in settlements not formally annexed to Israel, is irrelevant to their rights or status.

Where Palestinians live, on the other hand, is crucial. The Israeli regime has divided the area into several units that it defines and governs differently, according Palestinians different rights in each. This division is relevant to Palestinians only. The geographic space, which is contiguous for Jews, is a fragmented mosaic for Palestinians:

  • Palestinians who live on land defined in 1948 as Israeli sovereign territory (sometimes called Arab-Israelis) are Israeli citizens and make up 17% of the state’s citizenry. While this status affords them many rights, they do not enjoy the same rights as Jewish citizens by either law or practice – as detailed further in this paper.
  • Roughly 350,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, which consists of some 70,000 dunams [1 dunam = 1,000 square meters] that Israel annexed to its sovereign territory in 1967. They are defined as permanent residents of Israel a status that allows them to live and work in Israel without needing special permits, to receive social benefits and health insurance, and to vote in municipal elections. Yet permanent residency, unlike citizenship, may be revoked at any time, at the complete discretion of the Minister of the Interior. In certain circumstances, it can also expire.
  • Although Israel never formally annexed the West Bank, it treats the territory as its own. More than 2.6 million Palestinian subjects live in the West Bank, in dozens of disconnected enclaves, under rigid military rule and without political rights. In about 40% of the territory, Israel has transferred some civilian powers to the Palestinian Authority (PA). However, the PA is still subordinate to Israel and can only exercise its limited powers with Israel’s consent.
  • The Gaza Strip is home to about two million Palestinians, also denied political rights. In 2005, Israel withdrew its forces from the Gaza Strip, dismantled the settlements it built there and abdicated any responsibility for the fate of the Palestinian population. After the Hamas takeover in 2007, Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip that is still in place. Throughout all of these years, Israel has continued to control nearly every aspect of life in Gaza from outside.

Israel accords Palestinians a different package of rights in every one of these units – all of which are inferior compared to the rights afforded to Jewish citizens. The goal of Jewish supremacy is advanced differently in every unit, and the resulting forms of injustice differ: the lived experience of Palestinians in blockaded Gaza is unlike that of Palestinian subjects in the West Bank, permanent residents in East Jerusalem or Palestinian citizens within sovereign Israeli territory. Yet these are variations on the fact that all Palestinians living under Israeli rule are treated as inferior in rights and status to Jews who live in the very same area.

Detailed below are four major methods the Israeli regime uses to advance Jewish supremacy. Two are implemented similarly throughout the entire area: restricting migration by non-Jews and taking over Palestinian land to build Jewish-only communities, while relegating Palestinians to small enclaves. The other two are implemented primarily in the Occupied Territories: draconian restrictions on the movement of non-citizen Palestinians and denial of their political rights. Control over these aspects of life lies entirely in Israel’s hands: in the entire area, Israel has sole power over the population registry, land allocation, voter rolls and the right (or denial thereof) to travel within, enter or exit any part of the area.

A. Immigration – for Jews only:

Any Jew in the world and his or her children, grandchildren and spouses are entitled to immigrate to Israel at any time and receive Israeli citizenship, with all of its associated rights. They receive this status even if they choose to live in a West Bank settlement not formally annexed to Israel’s sovereign territory.

In contrast, non-Jews have no right to legal status in Israeli-controlled areas. Granting status is at the almost complete discretion of officials – the Minister of the Interior (within sovereign Israel) or the military commander (in the Occupied Territories). Despite this official distinction, the organizing principle remains the same: Palestinians living in other countries cannot immigrate to the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, even if they, their parents or their grandparents were born and lived there. The only way Palestinians can immigrate to areas controlled by Israel is by marrying a Palestinian who already lives there – as citizen, resident or subject – as well as meeting a series of conditions and receiving Israeli approval..

Israel not only hampers Palestinian immigration but also impedes Palestinian relocation between the units, if the move – in the perception of the regime – would upgrade their status. For instance, Palestinian citizens of Israel or residents of East Jerusalem can easily relocate to the West Bank (although they risk their rights and status in doing so). Palestinians in the Occupied Territories cannot obtain Israeli citizenship and relocate to Israeli sovereign territory, except for in very rare instances, which depend on the approval of Israeli officials.

Israel’s policy on family unification illustrates this principle. For years, the regime has placed numerous obstacles before families in which each spouse lives in a different geographical unit. Over time, this has impeded and often prevented Palestinians marrying a Palestinian in another unit from acquiring status in that unit. As a result of this policy, tens of thousands of families have been unable to live together. When one spouse is a resident of the Gaza Strip , Israel allows the family to live there together, but if the other spouse is a resident of the West Bank, Israel demands they relocate permanently to Gaza. In 2003, the Knesset passed a Temporary Order (still in force) banning the issuance of Israeli citizenship or permanent residency to Palestinians from the Occupied Territories who marry Israelis – unlike citizens of other countries. In exceptional cases approved by the Minister of the Interior, Palestinians from the West Bank who marry Israelis may be granted status in Israel – yet it is only temporary and does not entitle them to social benefits.

Israel also undermines the right of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories – including East Jerusalem – to continue living where they were born. Since 1967, Israel has revoked the status of some 250,000 Palestinians in the West Bank (East Jerusalem included) and the Gaza Strip, in some cases on the grounds they had lived abroad for more than three years. This includes thousands of East Jerusalem residents who moved mere miles east of their homes to parts of the West Bank that are not officially annexed. All these individuals were robbed of the right to return to their homes and families, where they were born and raised.

B. Taking over land for Jews while crowding Palestinians in enclaves:

Israel practices a policy of “Judaizing” the area, based on the mindset that land is a resource meant almost exclusively to benefit the Jewish public. Land is used to develop and expand existing Jewish communities and build new ones, while Palestinians are dispossessed and corralled into small, crowded enclaves. This policy has been practiced with respect to land within sovereign Israeli territory since 1948 and applied to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories since 1967. In 2018, the underlying principle was entrenched in Basic Law: Israel – the Nation State of the Jewish People, which stipulates that “the State considers the development of Jewish settlements a national value and will take action to encourage and promote the establishment and reinforcment of such settlements.”

Inside its sovereign territory, Israel has enacted discriminatory laws, most notably the Absentee Property Law , allowing it to expropriate vast tracts of Palestinian-owned land, including millions of dunams in communities whose residents were expelled or fled in 1948 and were barred from returning. Israel has also significantly reduced the areas designated for Palestinian local councils and communities, which now have access to less than 3% of the country’s total area. Most of the designated land is already saturated with construction. As a result, more than 90% of land in Israel’s sovereign territory is now under state control.

Israel has used this land to build hundreds of communities for Jewish citizens – yet not a single one for Palestinian citizens. The exception is a handful of towns and villages built to concentrate the Bedouin population , which has been stripped of most of its proprietary rights. Most of the land on which Bedouins used to live has been expropriated and registered as state land. Many Bedouin communities have been defined as ‘unrecognized’ and their residents as ‘invaders.’ On land historically occupied by Bedouins, Israel has built Jewish-only communities.

The Israeli regime severely restricts construction and development in the little remaining land in Palestinian communities within its sovereign territory. It also refrains from preparing master plans that reflect the population’s needs, and keeps these communities’ areas of jurisdiction virtually unchanged despite population growth. The result is small, crowded enclaves where residents have no choice but to build without permits .

Israel has also passed a law allowing communities with admission committees, numbering hundreds throughout the country, to reject Palestinian applicants on grounds of “cultural incompatibility.” This effectively prevents Palestinian citizens from living in communities designated for Jews. Officially, any Israeli citizen can live in any of the country’s cities ; in practice, only 10% of Palestinian citizens do. Even then, they are usually relegated to separate neighborhoods due to lack of educational, religious and other services, the prohibitive cost of purchasing a home in other parts of the city, or discriminatory practices in land and home sales.

The regime has used the same organizing principle in the West Bank since 1967 (including East Jerusalem). Hundreds of thousands of dunams, including farmland and pastureland, have been taken from Palestinian subjects on various pretexts and used, among other things, to establish and expand settlements, including residential neighborhoods, farmland and industrial zones. All settlements are closed military zones that Palestinians are forbidden from entering without a permit. So far, Israel has established more than 280 settlements in the West Bank (East Jerusalem included), which are now home to more than 600,000 Jews. More land has been taken to build hundreds of kilometers of bypass roads for settlers.

Israel has instituted a separate planning system for Palestinians in the West Bank, chiefly designed to prevent construction and development. Large swathes of land are unavailable for construction, having been declared state land, a firing zone, a nature reserve or a national park. The authorities also refrain from drafting adequate master plans reflecting the present and future needs of Palestinian communities in what little land has been spared. The separate planning system centers on demolishing structures built without permits – here, too, for lack of choice. All this has trapped Palestinians in dozens of densely-populated enclaves, with development outside them – whether for residential or public use, including infrastructure – almost completely banned.

C. Restriction of Palestinians’ freedom of movement

Israel allows its Jewish and Palestinian citizens and residents to travel freely throughout the area. Exceptions are the prohibition on entering the Gaza Strip, which it defines “hostile territory,” and the (mostly formal) prohibition on entering areas ostensibly under PA responsibility (Area A). In rare cases, Palestinian citizens or residents are permitted to enter Gaza.

Israeli citizens can also leave and reenter the country at any time. In contrast, residents of East Jerusalem do not hold Israeli passports and lengthy absence can result in revocation of status.

Israel routinely restricts the movement of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and generally forbids them from moving between the units. Palestinians from the West Bank who wish to enter Israel, East Jerusalem or the Gaza Strip must apply to the Israeli authorities. In the Gaza Strip, which has been blockaded since 2007, the entire population is imprisoned as Israel forbids almost any movement in or out – except in rare cases it defines humanitarian. Palestinians who wish to leave Gaza or Palestinians from other units who wish to enter it must also submit a special application for a permit to the Israeli authorities. The permits are issued sparingly and can only be obtained through a strict, arbitrary mechanism, or permit regime , which lacks transparency and clear rules. Israel treats every permit issued to a Palestinian as an act of grace rather than the fulfillment of a vested right.

In the West Bank, Israel controls all the routes between the Palestinian enclaves. This allows the military to set up flying checkpoints, close off access points to villages, block roads and stop passage through checkpoints at will. Furthermore, Israel built the Separation Barrier within the West Bank and designated Palestinian land, including farmland, trapped between the barrier and the Green Line as “the seam zone .” Palestinians in the West Bank are barred from entering this zone, subject to the same permit regime.

Palestinians in the Occupied Territories also need Israeli permission to go abroad. As a rule, Israel does not allow them to use Ben Gurion International Airport, which lies inside its sovereign territory. Palestinians from the West Bank must fly through Jordan’s international airport – but can only do so if Israel allows them to cross the border into Jordan. Every year, Israel denies thousands of requests to cross this border, with no explanation. Palestinians from Gaza must go through Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing – provided it is open, the Egyptian authorities let them through, and they can undertake the long journey through Egyptian territory. In rare exceptions, Israel allows Gazans to travel through its sovereign territory in an escorted shuttle, in order to reach the West Bank and from there continue to Jordan and on to their destination.

D. Denial of Palestinians’ right to political participation

Like their Jewish counterparts, Palestinian citizens of Israel can take political action to further their interests, including voting and running for office. They can elect representatives, establish parties or join existing ones. That said, Palestinian elected officials are continually vilified – a sentiment propagated by key political figures – and the right of Palestinian citizens to political participation is under constant attack .

The roughly five million Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories cannot participate in the political system that governs their lives and determines their futures. Theoretically, most Palestinians are eligible to vote in the PA elections. Yet as the PA’s powers are limited, even if elections were held regularly (the last were in 2006), the Israeli regime would still rule Palestinians’ lives, as it retains major aspects of governance in the Occupied Territories. This includes control over immigration, the population registry, planning and land policies, water, communication infrastructure, import and export, and military control over land, sea and air space.

In East Jerusalem, Palestinians are caught between a rock and a hard place. As permanent residents of Israel, they can vote in municipal elections but not for parliament. On the other hand, Israel makes it difficult for them to participate in PA elections.

Political participation encompasses more than voting or running for office. Israel also denies Palestinians political rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of association. These rights enable individuals to critique regimes, protest policies, form associations to advance their ideas and generally work to promote social and political change.

A slew of legislation, such as the boycott law and the Nakba law, has limited Israelis’ freedom to criticize policies relating to Palestinians throughout the area. Palestinians in the Occupied Territories face even harsher restrictions : they are not allowed to demonstrate; many associations have been banned; and almost any political statement is considered incitement. These restrictions are assiduously enforced by the military courts, which have imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and are a key mechanism upholding the occupation. In East Jerusalem, Israel works to prevent any social, cultural or political activity associated in any way with the PA.

The division of space also hampers a unified Palestinian struggle against Israeli policy. The variation in laws, procedures and rights among the geographical units and the draconian movement restrictions have separated the Palestinians into distinct groups. This fragmentation not only helps Israel promote Jewish supremacy, but also thwarts criticism and resistance.

No to apartheid: That is our struggle

The Israeli regime, which controls all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, seeks to advance and cement Jewish supremacy throughout the entire area. To that end, it has divided the area into several units, each with a different set of rights for Palestinians – always inferior to the rights of Jews. As part of this policy, Palestinians are denied many rights, including the right to self-determination.

This policy is advanced in several ways. Israel demographically engineers the space through laws and orders that allow any Jew in the world or their relatives to obtain Israeli citizenship, but almost completely deny Palestinians this possibility. It has physically engineered the entire area by taking over of millions of dunams of land and establishing Jewish-only communities, while driving Palestinians into small enclaves. Movement is engineered through restrictions on Palestinian subjects, and political engineering excludes millions of Palestinians from participating in the processes that determine their lives and futures while holding them under military occupation.

A regime that uses laws, practices and organized violence to cement the supremacy of one group over another is an apartheid regime. Israeli apartheid, which promotes the supremacy of Jews over Palestinians, was not born in one day or of a single speech. It is a process that has gradually grown more institutionalized and explicit, with mechanisms introduced over time in law and practice to promote Jewish supremacy. These accumulated measures, their pervasiveness in legislation and political practice, and the public and judicial support they receive – all form the basis for our conclusion that the bar for labeling the Israeli regime as apartheid has been met.

If this regime has developed over many years, why release this paper in 2021? What has changed? Recent years have seen a rise in the motivation and willingness of Israeli officials and institutions to enshrine Jewish supremacy in law and openly state their intentions. The enactment of Basic Law: Israel – the Nation State of the Jewish People and the declared plan to formally annex parts of the West Bank have shattered the façade Israel worked for years to maintain.

The Nation State basic law, enacted in 2018, enshrines the Jewish people’s right to self-determination to the exclusion of all others. It establishes that distinguishing Jews in Israel (and throughout the world) from non-Jews is fundamental and legitimate. Based on this distinction, the law permits institutionalized discrimination in favor of Jews in settlement, housing, land development, citizenship, language and culture. It is true that the Israeli regime largely followed these principles before. Yet Jewish supremacy has now been enshrined in basic law, making it a binding constitutional principle – unlike ordinary law or practices by authorities, which can be challenged. This signals to all state institutions that they not only can, but must, promote Jewish supremacy in the entire area under Israeli control.

Israel’s plan to formally annex parts of the West Bank also bridges the gap between the official status of the Occupied Territories, which is accompanied by empty rhetoric about negotiation of its future, and the fact that Israel actually annexed most of the West Bank long ago. Israel did not follow through on its declarations of formal annexation after July 2020, and various officials have released contradicting statements regarding the plan since. Regardless of how and when Israel advances formal annexation of one kind or another, its intention to achieve permanent control over the entire area has already been openly declared by the state’s highest officials.

The Israeli regime’s rationale, and the measures used to implement it, are reminiscent of the South African regime that sought to preserve the supremacy of white citizens, in part through partitioning the population into classes and sub-classes and ascribing different rights to each. There are, of course, differences between the regimes. For instance, the division in South Africa was based on race and skin color, while in Israel it is based on nationality and ethnicity. Segregation in South Africa was also manifested in public space, in the form of a policed, formal, public separation between people based on skin color – a degree of visibility that Israel usually avoids. Yet in public discourse and in international law, apartheid does not mean an exact copy of the former South African regime. No regime will ever be identical. ‘Apartheid’ has long been an independent term, entrenched in international conventions, referring to a regime’s organizing principle: systematically promoting the dominance of one group over another and working to cement it.

The Israeli regime does not have to declare itself an apartheid regime to be defined as such, nor is it relevant that representatives of the state broadly proclaim it a democracy. What defines apartheid is not statements but practice. While South Africa declared itself an apartheid regime in 1948, it is unreasonable to expect other states to follow suit given the historical repercussions. The response of most countries to South Africa’s apartheid is likelier to deter countries from admitting to implementing a similar regime. It is also clear that what was possible in 1948 is no longer possible today, both legally and in terms of public opinion.

As painful as it may be to look reality in the eye, it is more painful to live under a boot. The harsh reality described here may deteriorate further if new practices are introduced – with or without accompanying legislation. Nevertheless, people created this regime and people can make it worse – or work to replace it. That hope is the driving force behind this position paper. How can people fight injustice if it is unnamed? Apartheid is the organizing principle, yet recognizing this does not mean giving up. On the contrary: it is a call for change.

Fighting for a future based on human rights, liberty and justice is especially crucial now. There are various political paths to a just future here, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, but all of us must first choose to say no to apartheid.



Today, 5 February 2021, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) decided, by majority, that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, a State party to the ICC Rome Statute, extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

On 20 December 2019, the ICC Prosecutor announced the conclusion of the preliminary examination of the Situation in Palestine. The Prosecutor determined that all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation have been met. A decision on opening the investigation in this situation is in the remit of the ICC Prosecutor. On 22 January 2020, the Prosecutor seized the Chamber under article 19(3) of the Rome Statute, requesting a ruling only on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in the State of Palestine.

In today’s decision, Pre-Trial Chamber I recalled that the ICC is not constitutionally competent to determine matters of statehood that would bind the international community. By ruling on the territorial scope of its jurisdiction, the Chamber is neither adjudicating a border dispute under international law nor prejudging the question of any future borders. The Chamber’s ruling is for the sole purpose of defining the Court’s territorial jurisdiction.

Pre-Trial Chamber I examined the Prosecutor’s request as well as the submissions of other States, organisations and scholars who participated as amicus curiae and groups of victims. The Chamber held that, in accordance with the ordinary meaning given to its terms in their context and in the light of the object and purpose of the Statute, the reference to ‘[t]he State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred’ in article 12(2)(a) of the Statute must be interpreted as a reference to a State Party to the Rome Statute. The Chamber found that, regardless of its status under general international law, Palestine’s accession to the Statute followed the correct and ordinary procedure and that the Chamber has no authority to challenge and review the outcome of the accession procedure conducted by the Assembly of States Parties. Palestine has thus agreed to subject itself to the terms of the ICC Rome Statute and has the right to be treated as any other State Party for the matters related to the implementation of the Statute.

Pre-Trial Chamber I noted that, among similarly worded resolutions, the General Assembly of the United Nations in Resolution 67/19 “[reaffirmed] the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967“. On this basis, the majority, composed of Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou and Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, found that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

In addition, the Chamber found, by majority, that the arguments regarding the Oslo Agreements, and its clauses limiting the scope of Palestinian jurisdiction, are not pertinent to the resolution of the issue of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine. Such matters and other further questions on jurisdiction may be examined when and if the Prosecutor submits an application for the issuance of a warrant of arrest or summons to appear.

Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut appended a partly separate opinion on the reasons for which article 19(3) of the Statute is applicable in the present situation. JudgePéter Kovács, Presiding Judge, appended a partly dissenting opinion, in which he disagrees on the fact that Palestine qualifies as ‘[t]he State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred’ for the purposes of article 12(2)(a) of the Statute, and that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine extends – in a quasi-automatic manner and without any restrictions – to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Decision on the ‘Prosecution request pursuant to article 19(3) for a ruling on the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine’

Judge Péter Kovács’ Partly Dissenting Opinion

Partly Separate Opinion of Judge Perrin De Brichambaut







Het Strafhof oordeelt dat het rechtsmacht heeft in bezet Palestijns gebied. Daarmee is de laatste hindernis voor een onderzoek naar oorlogsmisdaden genomen.

Het Internationaal Strafhof heeft jurisdictie over door Israël bezet Palestijns gebied. Tot dat oordeel komt een speciale Kamer van het in Den Haag gevestigde hof. Daarmee is de weg vrij voor een officieel onderzoek naar Israëlische en Palestijnse oorlogsmisdaden in het gebied, na een voortraject dat ruim zes jaar heeft geduurd.

Traag vooronderzoek

Op 16 januari 2015 stelde hoofdaanklaagster Fatou Bensouda een verkennend onderzoek in naar de zogenoemde ‘situatie in Palestina’. Daarin werd beoordeeld of er voldoende reden bestond voor het instellen van een officieel onderzoek. Mede vanwege politieke druk en tegenwerking van vooral Israël en de VS duurde de verkenning veel langer dan gebruikelijk. Op 10 december 2019 bood The Rights Forum Bensouda namens een internationale coalitie van 203 organisaties een dringende oproep aan om ‘zonder verder uitstel’ over te gaan tot een officieel onderzoek.

Toeval of niet, nog diezelfde maand maakte Bensouda bekend dat er voldoende basis was voor zo’n onderzoek. Ze was van oordeel ‘dat er oorlogsmisdaden zijn of worden begaan op de Westelijke Jordaanoever, inclusief Oost-Jeruzalem, en in de Gazastrook’.

Bensouda maakte één voorbehoud: ze wilde zekerheid over de rechtsmacht van het Strafhof in de bezette gebieden. Zelf kende ze geen twijfel, maar Israël en zijn bondgenoten stelden dat het hof die macht niet bezit. Door de speciale Pre-Trial Chamber om een juridisch oordeel te vragen, wilde Bensouda voorkomen dat haar onderzoek achteraf op dit punt voor een rechter kan worden aangevochten. Nu er zekerheid is over de rechtsmacht kan haar onderzoek van start.

Overwinning voor gerechtigheid

The Rights Forum is verheugd over de bekendmaking, waarmee het hof vrijdag vriend en vijand verraste. Nu is het zaak dat Bensouda voortvarend te werk gaat en het recht zijn beloop krijgt, zegt directeur Gerard Jonkman:

Oorlogsmisdaden mogen niet onbestraft blijven. Dat ze plaatsvinden is rampzalig. Om voortzetting en herhaling te voorkomen is het cruciaal dat daders ter verantwoording worden geroepen en worden berecht. En dat de slachtoffers van de misdaden, in dit geval voornamelijk Palestijnen, maar ook Israëli’s, genoegdoening krijgen. Het bestrijden van oorlogsmisdaden en andere schendingen van het internationaal recht moet een absolute prioriteit zijn van de internationale gemeenschap als geheel en van de individuele staten die er deel van uitmaken.

De Palestijnse Autoriteit zegde Bensouda alle medewerking toe. In een persbericht sprak minister Riad Malki van Buitenlandse Zaken zijn waardering uit voor het hof, dat niet is gebogen voor de ‘vijandigheid en intimidatie’ die het te verduren heeft gekregen, maar trouw is gebleven ‘aan het principe van criminele aansprakelijkheid’. Na ‘tientallen jaren van pijn en lijden’ gloort er voor de Palestijnen hoop op gerechtigheid, aldus Malki:

Finally and after decades of agony and suffering, the Palestinian people’s inherent right to seek justice and accountability will be within reach and justice can be denied no longer.

De Palestijnse premier Mohammad Shtayyeh sprak van ‘een overwinning voor gerechtigheid, menselijkheid en vrijheid’. Een overwinning ook ‘voor het hof zelf’, dat de rug recht had gehouden. En een overwinning voor de slachtoffers van de betreffende misdaden, die nu eindelijk uitzicht op genoegdoening hebben. Shtayyeh deed een beroep op het hof om tempo te maken.

Israël verbolgen

Israël reageerde op de gebruikelijke wijze: verbolgen en agressief. Het dwarsbomen van het onderzoek was een topprioriteit van de regering-Netanyahu. Premier Benjamin Netanyahu en minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Gabi Ashkenazi spraken eensgezind schande van het besluit en bezwoeren ‘onze burgers en militairen met alle mogelijke middelen te zullen blijven beschermen tegen gerechtelijke vervolging’. Beiden beseffen dat zij persoonlijk verantwoordelijk kunnen worden gehouden. Met name Netanyahu, die aanstaande maandag bij de rechtbank in Jeruzalem moet verschijnen voor het vervolg van de drie strafzaken tegen hem, heeft reden zich zorgen te maken.

Netanyahu en Ashkenazi stapelden het ene verwijt op het andere: het hof zou ‘Palestijns terrorisme belonen’ en negeren dat Israël een ‘sterke democratische regering heeft die de rechtsorde hoog in het vaandel voert’. Het oordeel van het hof zou op politieke gronden tot stand zijn gekomen en het hof zou zich schuldig maken aan ‘politieke exploitatie van de internationale rechtsorde’.

Eerder beschuldigde Netanyahu het hof al van antisemitisme, zoals hij en zijn bondgenoten bijna alle kritiek op de staat Israël tot antisemitisme bestempelen. Ook deed hij een beroep op de internationale gemeenschap om sancties te treffen, niet alleen tegen het Strafhof als zodanig, ook tegen het personeel, ‘tegen functionarissen, tegen aanklagers, alles’. Die roep werd verhoord door Donald Trump, die al verbolgen was over het besluit van het hof onderzoek in te stellen naar oorlogsmisdaden in Afghanistan, waarbij mogelijk Amerikaanse militairen betrokken zijn. De regering-Biden heeft aangekondigd de door Trump getroffen sancties ‘grondig tegen het licht’ te zullen houden.



”The parties to a conflict must at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare the civilian population and civilian property. Neither the civilian population as a whole nor individual civilians may be attacked.”



The parties to a conflict must at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare the civilian population and civilian property. Neither the civilian population as a whole nor individual civilians may be attacked.

  • Attacks may be made solely against military objectives. People who do not or can no longer take part in the hostilities are entitled to respect for their lives and for their physical and mental integrity. Such people must in all circumstances be protected and treated with humanity, without any unfavorable distinction whatever.
  • It is forbidden to kill or wound an adversary who surrenders for who can no longer take part in the fighting.
  • Neither the parties to the conflict nor members of their armed forces have an unlimited right to choose methods and means of warfare. It is forbidden to use weapons or methods of warfare that are likely to cause unnecessary losses or excessive suffering.
  • The wounded and sick must be collected and cared for by the party to the conflict which has them in its power. Medical personnel and medical establishments, transports and equipment must be spared.
  • The red cross or red crescent on a white background is the distinctive sign indicating that such persons and objects must be respected.
  •   Captured combatants and civiliansmust be protected against all acts of violence who find themselves under the authority of the adverse party are entitled to respect for their lives, their dignity, their personal rights and their political, religious and other convictions. They or reprisal. They are entitled to exchange news with their families and receive aid. They must enjoy basic judicial guarantees.


”’Wat is dat voor cluppie, dat Femyso, kent u dat?”[Machiel de Graaf, PVV Tweede Kamerlid]: [0.24-1.04]]”Ja,. dat is een onderdeel van de Moslimbroederschap, dat is eeninternationale organisatie, die je eigenlijk kan kenschetsen als…hoe zal ik hetzeggen,,,,,jihandisten zonder haast….”[Geen Stijl Verslaggever]:”Jihadisten zonder haast?”[Machiel de Graaf, PVV Tweede Kamerlid]:”Ja,,,,,” Geen Stijl Verslaggever]:Maar ook zonder geweld, volgens mij….”[Machiel de Graaf, PVV Tweede Kamerlid]:”Ehhhhhh, dat ligt er een beetje aan, omdat de Moslimbroederschap eenorganisatie is, die niet, ja bij de Kamer van Koophandel staat ingeschrevenis dat natuurlijk ook heel moeilijk te achterhalen waar ze zich mee bezighouden.Gelukkig is er iemand, Carel Brendel, die dat heel goed doet en al jarenboekstaaft hij alles wat er met de Moslimbroederschap in verband komt endan zie je wel, dat er natuurlijk banden zijn met Hamas, er zijn bandenmet Erdogan, ja en dan kom je in een internationaal netwerk terecht,waar natuurlijk wel hier en daar geweld wordt gebruikt. ” [1.04]”



De Moslimbroederschap vormt op dit moment geen directe dreiging voor de democratische rechtsorde of de nationale veiligheid van ons land. Wel zouden de activiteiten op lange termijn een risico kunnen vormen. De AIVD concludeert dat na onderzoek naar deze beweging.

”De AIVD verricht onderzoek naar radicaliseringstendensen in Nederland. Binnen dit onderzoek is er aandacht voor radicale en ultraorthodoxe islamitische bewegingen die in potentie een bedreiging kunnen vormen voor de Nederlandse rechtsorde. In dat kader heeft de AIVD onderzoek gedaan naar de Moslimbroederschap in Nederland. In deze brief worden op basis van dat onderzoek de conclusies beschreven inzake de mogelijke dreiging die van deze beweging uitgaat ten aanzien van de democratische rechtsorde in Nederland. De Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten zal vertrouwelijk meer in detail worden geïnformeerd………”De AIVD heeft geconstateerd dat de Egyptische Moslimbroederschap weinig invloed heeft op de beweging in Nederland. De Nederlandse Moslimbroeders streven naar de herislamisering van de moslimgemeenschap waarbij de islam leidend moet zijn in het dagelijks leven van de moslims. Zij richten zich daarbij vooral op het verspreiden van het religieuze gedachtegoed van de Moslimbroederschap en het vergroten van haar invloedssfeer. De Moslimbroeders in Nederland stellen zich gematigd op en streven een betere positie voor moslims in Nederland na. In hun discours zijn begrippen als integratie, democratie, burgerzin nadrukkelijk aanwezig.’

Brief regering; Conclusies onderzoek Moslimbroederschap in Nederland – Grondrechten in een pluriforme samenleving





”De Moslimbroederschap kan op termijn een risico voor de democratische rechtsorde in Nederland vormen. Hiervoor zijn vier redenen:

  • Het streven van de Moslimbroederschap om de islam leidend te laten zijn in alle aspecten van het leven van moslims kan bijdragen aan een voedingsbodem voor (onverdraagzaam) isolationisme en polarisatie.
  • Door het veiligheidsbewuste en heimelijke optreden van de Nederlandse Moslimbroeders kan niet uitgesloten worden dat er naast de geconstateerde intenties andere doelstellingen bestaan die strijdig kunnen zijn met de democratische rechtsorde in Nederland.
  • De Nederlandse Moslimbroeders proberen invloed te verwerven in het maatschappelijk middenveld. Als zij ook gaan deelnemen aan politieke besluitvorming zonder open te zijn over hun signatuur en daarmee hun belangen en bedoelingen, kan dit tot een onwenselijke situatie leiden.
  • Ze beschikken over een breed internationaal netwerk en ruime financiële middelen.





We weten, dat het intellect bij Groen Links niet heel dik gezaaid is, dus ikvraag me af, of het nou een doelbewuste actie is om de Moslimbroederschaphier een voet aan de grond te geven in de Tweede Kamer, in het hart van onzeparlementaire democratie, of dat het nou echt van herhaalde onnozelheid is van een marxistische, communistische club, die natuurlijk wederom nietheeft geleerd van de geschiedenis.”[Geen Stijl Verslaggever tegen Machiel de Graaf, PVV Tweede Kamerlid] ”Nee, vind je dat zelf niet heel vergezocht?”[Machiel de Graaf, PVV Tweede Kamerlid]:”Nee.” [Geen Stijl Verslaggever tegen Machiel de Graaf, PVV Tweede Kamerlid]  
”Nee, mag, maar dat vroeg ik me af.” [Machiel de Graaf, PVV Tweede Kamerlid]:  
”Nee, dat is realistisch” [7.43]”
De kandidatencommissie van GroenLinks heeft een hoge, verkiesbare plaats bij de komende Tweede-Kamerverkiezingen toegekend aan Kauthar Bouchallikht, die vice-voorzitter is van de jongeren- en studentenorganisatie van de Europese Moslimbroeders. De juichende biografie maakt geen melding van deze opvallende activiteit.”



Islamoloog Joas Wagemakers bekritiseert de gangbare complottheorieën rondom de Moslimbroederschap. ‘Ze zijn onderling juist heel verdeeld.’
28 JANUARI 2020










Precies twee dagen heeft Kauthar Bouchallikht kunnen genieten van haar plek op de kandidatenlijst van GroenLinks. Daarna kwam de eerste aanval en het zal zeker niet de laatste zijn.

Helaas is dit de realiteit voor veel jonge moslims in Nederland. Zij moeten voortdurend hun loyaliteit bewijzen en laten zien waar ze staan. Als je ook nog eens vrouw bent, wordt die bewijslast nog zwaarder. Ik wil dit zeggen: mensen reduceren tot één identiteit doet hen geen recht. Er is een jonge generatie die tegelijkertijd moslim, klimaatactivist, feminist, LHBTIQ+’er, Nederlander, en nog veel meer kan zijn. Al deze identiteiten zijn met elkaar verbonden. Zij maken hen tot wie zij zijn: Nederlanders met ontelbare identiteiten.

De positieve verandering die gaande is in ons land maakt sommigen bang. Mensen die heel lang niet op plekken van macht hebben gezeten, komen daar nu wel. Vrouwen, jongeren, mensen van kleur, mensen met welke achtergrond dan ook. Samen zijn wij het nieuwe Nederland. Het was hier allang tijd voor. Dus iedereen die hier moeite mee heeft: wen er maar aan.

Ik vind het ontzettend belangrijk om dit statement te maken. Niet alleen voor Kauthar. Zij heeft het lef getoond om haar hoofd boven het maaiveld uit te steken. Daar heb ik veel bewondering voor. Dit statement is ook belangrijk voor al die andere jongeren in Nederland die twijfelen of ze hun dromen kunnen najagen of gewoon mogen zijn wie ze willen zijn. Voor al die jongeren herhaal ik de boodschap die mijn moeder mij lang geleden gaf. Laat je angst om te falen los en alles is mogelijk. En ik voeg daaraan toe: wees niet bang, je staat er niet alleen voor. We’ve got your back!

– Jesse







Okay jongens, even een overzicht van deze waanzin.

Afgelopen week werd Kauthar Bouchallikth, “met de -th van think”, gepresenteerd als kandidaat #9 op de Tweede Kamerlijst van GroenLinks. Dat lijkt ons over de hele linie zeer welverdiend, want ze heeft een imposant CV en lijkt simpelweg heel goed in wat ze doet. 

GroenLinks somt op Khautars kandidatenpagina haar vele bestuursfuncties en activiteiten op. GroenLinks verzuimt echter te melden dat Khautar óók vice-voorzitter van de Forum of European Muslim Youth and Students Organisations (FEMSYO) is, in de functie van Head of Member Organisation Relations, zoals hier op FEMYSO’s website te zien is. Khautar meldt dit zelf ook gewoon op haar eigen website.

Vervolgens ontstond de controverse. Carel Brendel wees erop dat FEMYSO de jeugdorganisatie van de Moslimbroederschap is. Vanuit de overheid en AIVD is er al bijna 10 jaar lang consensus over de aard en intenties van de Moslimbroederschap. Het enige dat sinds deze briefing uit 2011 door toenmalig minister van Binnenlandse Zaken Donner is veranderd, is dat de organisatie in gewicht en invloed gegroeid is. De briefing concludeert:

“De AIVD heeft in het onderzoek naar de Moslimbroederschap in Nederland geconstateerd dat de activiteiten van de beweging op de lange termijn een risico zouden kunnen vormen voor de democratische rechtsorde in Nederland. (…) Ten eerste is het voorstelbaar dat het streven van de Moslimbroeders om de islam leidend te laten zijn in alle aspecten van het leven van moslims op lange termijn kan bijdragen aan een voedingsbodem voor (onverdraagzaam) isolationisme en polarisatie. (…) Ten tweede kan door het veiligheidsbewuste en heimelijke optreden van de Nederlandse Moslimbroeders niet uitgesloten worden dat er naast de geconstateerde intenties andere doelstellingen bestaan die strijdig kunnen zijn met de democratische rechtsorde in Nederland. (…) Ten derde is geconstateerd dat Nederlandse Moslimbroeders invloed trachten te verwerven in het maatschappelijk middenveld. Indien Moslimbroeders hierbij deelnemen aan of invloed uitoefenen op politieke besluitvorming zonder hun signatuur en daarmee hun belangen en intenties kenbaar te maken, kan dit tot een onwenselijke situatie leiden.”

Kauthars ontkenning
Gezien dit ondermijnende oogmerk van de Moslimbroederschap is het dus erg begrijpelijk dat Kauthar zich haastte om zich van de Moslimbroederschap te distantiëren. Ze verwees daarbij naar deze tekst van FEMYSO, waarin de beschuldiging wordt afgedaan met dat FEMYSO “has faced repeated attacks by far-right and other groups accusing the organisation of having links with the Muslim Brotherhood. FEMYSO categorically denies these false and malicious allegations which are designed solely to undermine our organisation.”

De tekst en Kauthar zelf, gaan echter niet inhoudelijk in op de veelheid aan bevindingen die het tegendeel aantonen. Die bevindingen zetten we hier gister onder elkaar. Het betreft een overzicht op de website van Moslimbroederschap-koepelorganisatie Council of European Muslims (CEM, voorheen Federation of Islamic Organisations Europe, FIOE) zelf, rapporten door Duitse ministeries en veiligheidsdiensten, een CEM-bestuurslid dat FEMYSO op 22 oktober jl. nog vermeldde als een van de “other actors” van CEMs corona-aanpak, getuigenissen van ex-CEM-leden en een onderzoek door Georgetown University. De meest rokende smoking gun van allemaal, namelijk die FIOE-website die FEMYSO in 2004 zelf als een van hun zes centrale organisaties noemde, hier (mirror) en opklikbaar onderstaand.

Al die bevindingen concluderen dat FEMYSO wel degelijk de Europese jeugdtak van de Moslimbroederschap is.

Jesse Klavers volledig holle reactie
Jesse Klaver koos er gister in zijn reactie echter voor klakkeloos de FEMYSO-lijn over te nemen, en de bevinding dat FEMYSO de Europese jeugdtak van de Moslimbroederschap is af te doen als xenofobische laster. *In werkelijk niets ging hij inhoudelijk in op de bevindingen.* Klaver:

“Precies twee dagen heeft Kauthar Bouchallikht kunnen genieten van haar plek op de kandidatenlijst van GroenLinks. Daarna kwam de eerste aanval en het zal zeker niet de laatste zijn. Helaas is dit de realiteit voor veel jonge moslims in Nederland. Zij moeten voortdurend hun loyaliteit bewijzen en laten zien waar ze staan. (…) Ik vind het ontzettend belangrijk om dit statement te maken. Niet alleen voor Kauthar. Zij heeft het lef getoond om haar hoofd boven het maaiveld uit te steken. Daar heb ik veel bewondering voor. (…) En ik voeg daaraan toe: wees niet bang, je staat er niet alleen voor. We’ve got your back!”

Ja, luister maat. Zo werkt dit niet. Er is maar één aantijging aan Kauthars adres, en dat is dat zij bestuurslid is van een organisatie die aantoonbaar aan de Moslimbroederschap gelieerd is, en de Moslimbroederschap op zijn beurt weer unaniem erkend is als ‘een mogelijk risico voor de Democratische rechtsorde in Nederland’.

Dat is een probleem. En dat wisten jullie van te voren, want GroenLinks koos er bewust voor Kauthars FEMYSO-bestuursfunctie niet te vermelden op de GroenLinks-kandidatenpagina, terwijl het wel gewoon prominent op haar persoonlijke website vermeld staat.

Klakkeloos het verweer van de verdachte organisatie zelf overnemen is partijleider- Tweede Kamer- en 14 zetels-onwaardig. GroenLinks heeft geen andere keus dan inhoudelijk op de kwestie in te gaan, want dit gaat niet weg. In afwachting van uw reactie verblijven we.



Opgeslagen onder Divers

Reacties zijn gesloten.