HAIFA, Wednesday, June 21, 2023 (WAFA) - Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel published yesterday a new report containing an extensive analysis of the violent and illegal actions of the Israeli law enforcement system during and following the May 2021 events, commonly referred to by Palestinians as “The Unity Intifada” or the “Uprising of Dignity”.
The report, “Two Years After the May 2021 Events – The Uprising of Dignity: Israel’s use of excessive force and racial segregation against Palestinians continues,” based on information gathered and obtained by Adalah, exposes the existence of two separate, racial law enforcement policies towards citizens of Israel. Under the first policy, in which Palestinian citizens are viewed as enemies, the Israeli authorities declared states of emergency in their towns, tightened surveillance over them, arrested them, and endangered their lives.
In contrast, Jewish Israeli citizens were governed during and after May 2021 by a policy of relative impunity that saw evidence of wrongdoing intentionally concealed, vicious attacks treated as acts of self-defense, and the law employed to shield them from criminal accountability.
Adalah’s report details police use of highly dangerous, sometimes lethal, weapons, as well as other forms of excessive force, against protestors and other civilians, arbitrary arrests of hundreds of Palestinians, in violation of their rights, extreme violations by state authorities of Palestinians’ rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly, and collaboration of law enforcement and other state authorities with Jewish civilians to allow them to commit acts of violence against Palestinians and subsequently provide them with complete impunity.
The violations committed by Israeli state authorities – including the police – during May 2021 constitute gross violations of international law, including practices that constitute state-sanctioned racial segregation and violence and violate the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, said Adalah, calling on the international community, including the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, as well as international tribunals such as the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice to act immediately to protect Palestinians from state oppression and fully investigate these violations committed by state actors – and those they protected – during May 2021 and beyond.
Adalah stressed that although this report focuses in particular on the events of May 2021 inside Israel, against Palestinian citizens of the state, the police conduct detailed therein speaks to a broader system of oppression against Palestinians that has existed since Israel’s founding; a system that is based on power relations between Jewish supremacy and anti-Palestinian racism, which the colonial Israeli regime uses as a comprehensive legal framework throughout all territories under its control.
Adalah commented: “Two years after these events, the conduct of the Israeli police continues with the same patterns of violence and abuse. Currently, the Israeli government is advancing more policies and legislative measures in order to deepen even further Israel’s racist policies aimed at entrenching Jewish supremacy, along with the full establishment of an apartheid legal system. These include the recent subordination of the police under the purview of the National Security Minister, which we recently challenged in court, and Netanyahu’s initiative to deploy the Shin Bet into Palestinian communities under the pretext of fighting crime. Israel's failure to address the unprecedented rise in the rates of violence and crime within the Palestinian community is directly connected to the hostile position taken by the Israeli police towards Palestinian citizens of Israel. The police have consistently made clear that they view Palestinian citizens as an enemy, and as a result, both over-police them – for purposes of political repression – and under-police them when it comes to protecting them and their rights.”