EU: Israel has Obligation to Protect Palestinians and Not Displace Them

Israeli forces demolish Palestinian structures in Masafer Yatta. (Photo: via B'tselem)

The European Union criticized Thursday an Israeli Supreme Court ruling authorizing the eviction of over 1,000 Palestinians in the Masafer Yatta area, near Hebron (Al-Khalil), the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Supreme Court issued its ruling paving the way for the demolition of eight small villages in Masafer Yatta, an area located in the Hebron province, in the occupied West Bank.

As a result of this decision, about 1,300 Palestinians in the area face a risk of imminent forcible transfer from their homes and destruction of their communities.

“Under international law, individual or mass forcible transfers and deportation of protected persons from occupied territories are prohibited, regardless of their motive,” said the EU in a tweet.

The EU added, “As the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to protect the Palestinian population & not displace it.”

Masafer Yatta residents and Israeli rights groups say that many of the Palestinian families living there have been permanently residing in the area since before Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), who along with Masafer Yatta residents petitioned against the expulsion, said the verdict would have “unprecedented consequences.”

“The High Court has officially authorized leaving entire families, with their children and their elderly, without a roof over their heads,” ACRI said in a statement.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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