New York, MINA – The US Presbyterian Church voted Tuesday in the 225th General Assembly to declare Israel an “apartheid state” and designate Nakba Remembrance Day on their calendar.
The church claims to have more than 1.7 million members, The New Arab reports.
Its International Engagement Committee passed a resolution recognizing that “Israeli law, policy and practice regarding the Palestinian people meet the international legal definition of apartheid”, according to a statement on the Presbyterian Church’s website.
The committee also called for an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza and affirmed the “right of everyone to live and worship peacefully” in Jerusalem.
Of the 31 voting members, 28 agreed with the resolution, which stated that Israel was practicing apartheid by “enacting two sets of laws, one for Israelis and one for Palestinians, which give preferential treatment to Israeli Jews and oppressive treatment to Palestinians. “.
A resolution designating May 15 as the Memorial of the Palestinian Nakba – commemorating the tragedy in which 750,000 Palestinians were expelled for the creation of Israel in 1948 – was also approved.
It was passed “for the purpose of raising prayers for peace” and “giving solidarity to those suffering under occupation”.
The resolution also states that the anniversary should be included annually in the Presbyterian Planning Calendar.
The resolution specifically calls on the US government to urge the Israeli government to immediately stop all hostile acts which are defined as “collective punishment” under international law and end the blockade of Gaza.
Previously, Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian land and its persecution and violence against Palestinians had been defined as apartheid by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories has also issued a report saying Israel has imposed the “reality of apartheid” on Palestinians. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)