Israel does not only commit war crimes, but also commits crimes against humanity, which are "among the most awful crimes," said a prominent American-Jewish political scientist and activist in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
Referring to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on April 27, A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes Apartheid and Persecution, Norman Finkelstein said that apart from committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel recurrently declared that it would not withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories, which is considered illegal annexation under international law.
“If it is an illegal annexation, Israelis have no right whatsoever in East Jerusalem. They have no rights whatsoever in Gaza. Let me emphasize it, they have no rights of self-defense. They have only one right: They have the right to pack up their bags and leave (Palestine),” he noted.
Finkelstein stressed that the recent escalation in East Jerusalem and Gaza should be understood as part of Israel’s long-term, systematic, and planned efforts and history of stealing Palestinian lands, which could be traced back to even before the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Discussing the Palestinian resistance against Israel, he maintained that Palestinians have the right to defend their lands and apply to every mean in this end against "the thief state" (Israel), considering the international law and Israel’s inhuman actions.
“If you fellow citizens are coming under assault by these land robbers and land thieves, you have every right to join in to resistance,” he said.
Comparing the US administrations' approaches toward the issue, Finkelstein noted that President Joe Biden is not different from others in essence.
“My guess is, unlike the (former Donald) Trump administration, they are probably not pouring kerosene on the fire. They are probably quietly telling Israelis 'don’t evacuate these (Palestinian) families in Sheikh Jarrah'."
At least 53 Palestinians have been killed and 320 others injured in Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip amid tension across the Palestinian territories after Israeli police stormed the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied East Jerusalem and assaulted worshippers.
Five Israelis have also been killed and 45 others injured in Palestinian rocket fire.
Tensions have been running high since last week after an Israeli court ordered the evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.