No 378 Posted by fw, December 23, 2011
(About ICAHD – ICAHD (The Isreali Committee Against House Demolitions, is a non-violent, direct-action organization established in 1997 to resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories — 24,000 as of this writing and counting. As we gained knowledge of the brutalities of the Occupation, we expanded our resistance activities to other areas – land expropriation, settlement expansion, by-pass road construction, policies of “closure” and “separation,” the wholesale uprooting of fruit and olive trees, the Separation Barrier/Wall, the siege of Gaza and more).
European Union Ambassador to Israel, Andrew Standley, submitted a formal protest to the Israeli Foreign Ministry over plans to displace Bedouin, and demolition of Palestinian homes in the E1 area near the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, reported Haaretz on Friday.
“The significance of this development is not only the creation of a greater Jerusalem that controls the center of the West Bank” says ICAHD Director Dr. Jeff Halper “but the emergence of Israeli Occupation territorial contiguity, that effectively eliminates the two state solution.”
The EU Ambassador also expressed profound concern over the deterioration in the Palestinian residents situation in the West Bank Area C, under Israeli control. He cited the rise in the number of houses demolished by Israel, an excess of 500 in 2011, resulting in more than 1,000 Palestinians displaced.
Following a briefing and field visit lead by ICAHD Co-Director Itay Epshtain, and Advocates Michael Sfard and Emily Schaeffer, European foreign ministers received a report compiled by the European consuls in Ramallah and East Jerusalem on the situation of the Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank. The report cited a rise in the number of Palestinian houses demolished by Israel, and the growing distress of the Palestinians living in Area C. “ICAHD has long cautioned about the emergence of a greater Jerusalem” said Epshtain “linking the Judaization of East Jerusalem and displacement of Bedouin in E1, with the development of Ma’aleh Adumim, all the way to the Jordan Valley.“
According to the Israeli daily, Haaretz, EU foreign ministers have also received information from human rights organizations, referring to ICAHD’s publication Nowhere left to Go: Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin Ethnic Displacement, saying Israel is planning to forcefully transfer some 3,000 Bedouins of the Arab al-Jahalin tribe from their residence in the E1 area, to allow for the expansion of illegal settlement Ma’aleh Adumim.
Halper referred to the EU protest saying: “The EU is picking up on ICAHD’s long standing analysis which connects seemingly unrelated developments on the ground to the larger political picture.”
In November 2011, Israel expropriated 1.5 km2 of Palestinian land in the northern Jordan Valley and de-facto annexed the land to a Jewish community within Israel proper. This is considered the first instance of Palestinian land in the Occupied West Bank to be annexed to Israel, (excluding East Jerusalem) in defiance of international law.
MY COMMENT — Although Israel will simply ignore the EU protest, it is encouraging that the EU has at least made the effort, which is more than can be said for the morally challenged Obama and Harper administrations which continue to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to Israeli atrocities against Palestinians.