A human rights organization in Israel has called the country an "apartheid regime" - triggering denunciation from state officials there.
B'Tselem concluded in a position paper the Jewish state was not a democracy and its actions qualified as apartheid after the government considered the formulation of laws devised to "entrench its control over" Palestinian territories and those that live there," NBC and others quoted the position paper as saying Wednesday.
"Among the key points in our analysis is that this is a single geopolitical area ruled by one government," B'Tselem director Hagai El-Ad said. It is "apartheid between the river and the sea."
However, Ohad Zemet, spokesman at the Israeli consulate in London, rejected the report as "nothing more than a propaganda tool."
There have been increasing worries among Israel's traditional allies - especially Britain - that the continued loss of Palestinian territory to Jewish settlements on the West Bank wasn't only dealing a blow to a long-term peace process but Israel's moral stature.
El-Ad said he hoped the paper would help the incoming administration of U.S. President Joe Biden evaluate American policy after the Trump administration threw its support to Israel and dismissed Palestinian positions on the discord between the two states, NPR reported.
Rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said Israeli leaders had sought to undercut efforts of rights advocates - including by smearing Israeli rights crusaders and arresting Palestinian activists.
Adalah, a Palestinian-run legal center in Israel, supported B'Tselem's position paper. In an interview with The Independent, Adalah general director Dr. Hassan Jabareen said Israel had now "changed the rules of the game and we have no choice but to use the A word. This is apartheid."