London/Geneva, March 21, 2019
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) briefed on Thursday the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) about the discriminatory implications if the Nation State Law passed by the Israeli Knesset in July 2018.
PRC’s speaker warned that the law downgrades the status of Arabic from an official language to a ‘special status’ language, which is yet another sign of the systematic discrimination perpetrated by Israel against its minorities, even the largest one that is Palestinian citizens.
PRC notified the present members of the council and the distinguished delegates of the statements released by Israeli prime minister who declared that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens”.
PRC warned that the Nation State Law gives further green-light to Israel’s illegal apartheid-like practices, including its settlement activity across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“Palestinians holding an Israeli citizenship are systematically discriminated against; Palestinian towns and neighborhoods benefit from lower levels of services and infrastructure, and Palestinian citizens of Israel face increasing numbers of house demolitions and displacement”, PRC’s oral statement read. “Additionally, the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly of Palestinian citizens of Israel is continuously challenged.”
PRC called on member states to impose accountability measures, including economic sanctions and arms embargoes on the Israeli government until it ensures the provision of rights to all citizens without any discrimination, in accordance with international law.
The statement is the latest in a string of contributions made by PRC as part of the 40th session of the UNHRC held in Geneva in March. PRC delivered six oral statements tackling the situation of Palestine refugees in Syria, Palestinian territories occupied in 1948 (present-day Israel), the blockaded Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank, and occupied Jerusalem. Two written documents were passed on by PRC to the council. Academic experts and researchers also attended two seminars staged by PRC on the sidelines of the event.