A group of US lawmakers urged Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Thursday to pressure the Israeli government to halt the impending evictions of nearly 1,200 Palestinians from their homes in the Masafer Yatta area, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
In their letter to Blinken, more than 80 Democrats and independents from both chambers of Congress wrote that the evictions could undermine efforts to reach a two-state solution.
— CJNV # SaveMasaferYatta (@CJNVtweets) May 26, 2022
“As supporters of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, we believe such evictions undermine our shared democratic values… and disregard Palestinian human and civil rights,” read the letter.
“We respectfully request that you immediately engage with the Israeli government to prevent these evictions and further military training exercises in the area,” the letter added.
The US legislators added,
“With President Biden visiting Israel in late June, it is critical that the administration respond quickly to ensure that this momentous trip can deliver concrete steps toward peace.”
On May 4, Israel’s supreme court upheld an expulsion order affecting nearly 1,200 Palestinians in Masafer Yatta, including 500 children.
These ancient caves, built in stone, are home for many in Masafer Yatta. My great grandparents lived in one. When the young build homes for the 21st century the occupation destroys them. Kids and parents are thus forced to stay in caves, which aren't suitable for living anymore. pic.twitter.com/h7fyUEaq41
— #SaveMasaferYatta (@basel_adra) May 27, 2022
The court ruled the Palestinians were not permanent residents of the land when it was designated a military firing and training zone by Israel in 1981.
Rights groups, however, argue some Palestinian families have lived in Masafer Yatta since before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967.
(WAFA, PC, Social Media)