European Union Parliamentarians accused Israel of committing a war crime after a delegation visited the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar on Wednesday.
A delegation of six European Parliamentarians, chaired by Cypriot European Member of Parliament Neoklis Sylikiotis, visited the village and met with Khan al-Ahmar residents and activists who formed a vigil in an attempt to deter Israel from demolishing the village.
— Karel van Oosterom (@KvanOosterom) September 21, 2018
Sylikiotis promised Palestinians that the European Parliament will vigorously work to preserve Khan al-Ahmar, adding the parliament will continue to oppose demolition of the village and other Bedouin communities in the area.
He urged that forceful transfer of people living under occupation is a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, meaning Israel’s action constitutes a war crime, according to Palestinian Authority’s official news agency WAFA.
#EU member ambassadors — (left to right) Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Belgium — call upon the Israeli authorities to reconsider their decision to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar. #UNSC pic.twitter.com/WDKTOPpNk6
— Sakura Ewing (@sakuraewing) September 20, 2018
He affirmed the delegation’s support for the freedom of Palestine, along with Palestinian rights to justice and self-determination and to be free from occupation and apartheid, WAFA added.
Earlier this month, Amnesty International also accused Israel of committing a war crime by approving the demolition of the impoverished village.
— German Mission to UN (@GermanyUN) September 20, 2018
Saleh Higazi, Head of Office in Jerusalem for Amnesty International said:
“With this shameful and manifestly unlawful ruling, the Supreme Court has confirmed a pattern of complicity in the crime of forcible transfer of Palestinian communities for the expansion of Jewish only settlements.”
“The court has not only completely denied the petitioners the protection provided to them by International Humanitarian Law, it has also validated the discriminatory policies of the Israeli authorities.”
Read out the following statement on behalf of former, current and incoming EU members of the UN Security Council, on the planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar. pic.twitter.com/CuN42HR2kQ
— Karel van Oosterom (@KvanOosterom) September 20, 2018
The present village, which has a population of 173, including 92 children, consists mainly of makeshift structures of tin and wood, as is generally the case with Bedouin sites.
The residents of the village are being given two options for relocation – one of which is to live by a landfill in Abu Dis until a structure next to a sewage plant close to Jericho can be arranged.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 20, 2018
The village is being demolished under the Israeli pretext of being built without a permit.
But activists say the villagers had little alternative but to build without Israeli construction permits, which are almost never issued to Palestinians.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 17, 2018
Applying for building permits also comes with various taxes and fees that amount to tens of thousands of dollars – an unaffordable move for many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, where 27 percent live under the poverty line.
Khan al-Ahmar is located in the 60 percent of the West Bank known as Area C, which remains under exclusive Israeli control and is home to hundreds of Israeli settlements.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)