(29 May 2020) Ongoing Israeli Annexation: Fourteen demolition notices delivered to the village of Al-Walaja

PR/EN/290520/25
 
Israel has proceeded unhindered with its annexation plans in the West Bank, specifically in the area south and west of Bethlehem in the area known as the Etzion Colonial Bloc, by issuing 14 demolition orders to the village of Al-Walaja on Thursday, 28 May 2020. The demolition notices were delivered by the Israeli Civil Administration from the Jerusalem Municipality accompanied by the Israeli military and contained 13 demolition and stop construction notices for building structures and one for the Al-Awda Road. The Al- Awda Road, on Jabal Al-Ruwaisat, is a community resilience initiative developed and implemented jointly by BADIL and the Al-Walaja Village Council in order to increase Palestinian access to land and challenge Israeli annexation and forcible displacement policies in Area C.
 

The policies and practices used by Israel, such as home demolitions, denial of access to land and natural resources, and the denial of services – such as those implemented in Al-Walaja, culminate in the creation of a coercive environment that lead to the forced displacement and transfer of Palestinians. In September 2017, Israel took measures to begin the relocation a military checkpoint closer to the village of Al-Walaja – a move that would severely isolate the village and deny villagers access to their lands. Israel has been steadily sustaining an ever increasing coercive environment, and implementing mechanisms to further entrench annexation of Palestinian lands there. These actions cannot be separated from the newly officially released American plan entitled “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People” (hereinafter, the Vision). The Vision reveals how the creation of a so-called self-governing Palestinian state would manifest in a non-contiguous, capitulated Palestinian entity, with Israeli-regulated borders, and connected by Israeli-controlled bridges, tunnels, and roads.[1] The Vision, significantly influenced by and supportive of Israeli goals and ambitions, completely denies Palestinian rights and further entrenches Israeli segregation, fragmentation and isolation policies.
 

As the Nakba of the Palestinian people continues due to Israeli practices and policies, represented in the systematic displacement and transfer of the remaining Palestinian population in Mandatory Palestine, BADIL and the Global Palestinian Refugee Network (GPRN) call on:

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization to fulfill its obligations, and strengthen the steadfastness of Palestinians everywhere, but especially in areas subject to the coercive environment and at high risk of displacement, through community initiatives that support their presence and challenge Israeli annexation, colonization and apartheid.
  • The international solidarity movement to implement actions to support Palestinian initiatives that challenge Israeli annexation, colonization and apartheid practices and policies that exceed the limits of moral solidarity.
  • The United Nations and UN member states to take measures that would protect and prevent Israel from implementing illegal and arbitrary destruction or damage to Palestinian properties and infrastructure in Area C, especially those in Al-Walaja.
The United Nations and member states, especially Western countries, to take practical measures to fulfill their responsibilities and hold Israel accountable, particularly for Israeli destruction of private and public facilities, including projects funded by these countries.
 

[1] See White House, Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People, announced on 28 January 2020, available at: www.whitehouse.gov/peacetoprosperity [hereinafter White House, Peace to Prosperity] [accessed 10 May 2020]

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