Fifty members of the US House of Representatives from the Democratic Party have asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to prevent Israel from forcefully evicting 38 Palestinian families and demolishing their occupied West Bank village of Al-Walaja, Israeli media reported.
“The destruction and displacement of this community would run counter to the values shared by the US and Israel, while further undermining long-term Israeli security, Palestinian dignity, and prospects for peace,” the representatives, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
US congressman Andy Levin: "I proudly joined my colleagues in urging the Department of State to engage diplomatically with Israel to halt the demolitions in the Palestinian village of al-Walaja. These actions violate Palestinian human rights and prospects for peace." pic.twitter.com/0dI8B10cxS
— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) March 22, 2022
The signatories, including Jan Schakowsky, David Price, Jamie Raskin, John Yarmuth and Mark Pocan, said that they are concerned about the expulsion plan.
They urged the Biden administration to work with Israel to “advance an equitable development plan that will formally authorize existing homes, provide for adequate municipal services and allow for residential and other necessary development of the village.”
"A group of Democratic lawmakers are calling on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to put pressure on the Israeli government to halt the displacement of 38 families living in the Palestinian village of al-Walaja."
Where is the humanity of the other members of both parties? 😭🇵🇸🗝️ pic.twitter.com/Fuy4Fg0IVe
— paliyana (@bano_sanjeeda) March 22, 2022
Al-Walaja’s land covered nearly 18,000 dunams (1,800 hectares) prior to 1948. In 1949, as part of the armistice agreed between Israel and Jordan its residents left the village.
About half of the 6,000 dunams that Al-Walaja residents held onto after 1949 were exploited by Israel for its own purposes from as early as the 1970s. Some were expropriated to build Gilo, an illegal settlement bloc in Jerusalem. Others were seized by military order to build the settlement of Har Gilo.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)