76 U.S. Congress members Call on Netanyahu to Stop Razing Palestinian Village in Hebron

Published May 25th, 2018 - 05:00 GMT
Palestinians walk along a demolished road by Israel leading to the village of Al Walaja in the West Bank. (Musa Al Shaer/ AFP)
Palestinians walk along a demolished road by Israel leading to the village of Al Walaja in the West Bank. (Musa Al Shaer/ AFP)
Seventy-six members of the US Congress have penned a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, urging his government to abandon plans to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya in South Hebron.

"The forcible eviction of Palestinian communities and the expansion of settlements in areas of the West Bank which would become part of a future Palestinian state, abandon our two countries' shared values of justice and respect for human rights," said the letter, dated 21 May.

"These actions unilaterally change facts on the ground and jeopardise the prospects for a two-state solution."

Washington-based liberal Jewish group J Street described the letter as, "the most significant criticism of settlement expansion ever by Congress".

Ten Democratic senators sent a similar letter last year to Netanyahu.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois initiated the letter, and a number of Jewish legislators signed it, as well as four members of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

Susya is a community of 340 people who were evicted from their original village in 1986, when Israel declared the area an archaeological site. 

They moved to agricultural land that they owned and are now accused of constructing buildings without permits by Israeli authorities, who have also ruled that their village is "unfit for human habitation".

Israel's defence minister announced plans today that authorities are set to grant permission for the construction of thousands of new settler homes - deemed illegal under international law - in the occupied West Bank as early as next week.

The plans follow the urging of Palestinian Authority's Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to "open an immediate investigation" into Israel's war crimes against Palestinians.

This includes looking into the continued settlement construction and Palestinian home demolition in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright @ 2021 The New Arab.

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