7 September 2018 - Geneva, Switzerland
An Action that Threatens the Future of Middle East Peace
Urgent appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur for Palestine, the UN Secretary-General and all other concerned UN bodies to oppose this action by Israel.
A small Bedouin village in the West Bank is under threat of imminent demolition by Israel, thereby depriving 180 people of their homes, clinic, mosque and school. After being forced by Israel to relocate in the 1950s, the people of this village settled in the West Bank. Now, Israel is forcing them out of their homes again. Now, having perused all possible legal avenues, the residents were told on 5 September 2018 that the Israeli Supreme Court has given the Israeli military a green light to destroy their village.
Example of Israeli continued demolition policy, photo of demolished houses in Al Walaja a few days ago. (GICJ Photo)
Khan al Ahmar is an area of about 12 square kilometres located in the so called E1 zone, which lies between the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem. In the past Israeli development plans have raised strong objections from the Palestinians and the international community and had been put on hold since 2005. After the recognition of Palestine by the UN General Assembly in 2012, Israel renewed its planning.
The demolition of Khan al Ahmar would be a dangerous precedent for the entire region. Israeli construction in E1 would cut off the northern West Bank from the southern part and be one of the last nails into the coffin of the peaceful solution. The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is in clear contradiction with the international community opposition including the UN. If nevertheless Israel proceeds to demolish Khan al Ahmar with impunity, it will be a clear sign to the international community that Israel can do whatever it wants and pave the way for further violations of international law.
Example of Israeli continued demolition policy, photo (from interior) of a demolished house in Al Walaja a few days ago. (GICJ photo)
GICJ calls on the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur for Palestine, and all other concerned UN bodies to oppose this action by Israel.
Forced relocation of populations in areas under occupation, such as the West Bank, is a war crime under international law. Unfortunately, this is just one example of many forced relocations inflicted upon Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. And relocations are often followed by the construction or expansion of an illegal settlement. The UN, other international organizations, and the international community need to send a clear message that violations of international law are not acceptable.
The failure to take a strong stand against the demolition of Khan al Ahmar and the relocation of its residents will only encourage Israel to continue with construction of illegal settlements, which will greatly hinder the ability to ever achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East conflict.
Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) urgently calls upon the International Community to put pressure on the Israeli government to refrain from its illegal policy of house demolitions, and to immediately cease all its practices that violating Palestinians’ inalienable rights. GICJ believes that new effective measures must be introduced to hold Israel accountable and ensure its compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law. Finally, GICJ urged all UN bodies and member states to do exerts its efforts to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people.
GICJ Side-event on Palestine during the 38th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council
Urgent Appeals on Palestine by GICJ: