Press release - for immediate publication
UNILATERAL, SUDDEN SUSPENSION OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN SUSYA AND STATE LEADS TO NEW FEARS OF DEMOLITIONS
Jerusalem, Israel - July 26, 16: Refusal by the state to continue dialogue regarding the authorization of Susya implies an increased threat of demolitions occurring to 40% of the village. Were this to occur, the already very difficult humanitarian conditions existing in the village would be greatly exacerbated.
Continuation of dialogue between residents and the state now depends on Israel’s new minister of defense.
For the most part, the situation in Susya will be decided by the High Court in an upcoming hearing scheduled for Monday August 1 at 9am. During this hearing, the Court will decide if it will accept the state’s request to immediately and without prior notice demolish 40% of the village. Most of the structures currently slated for demolition are residential, providing living quarters to approximately 100 people.
Read more: UNILATERAL, SUDDEN SUSPENSION OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN SUSYA AND STATE LEADS TO NEW FEARS OF DEMOLITIONS
Police use riot-control measures to quell protests against destruction of buildings, some beyond the separation barrier in Palestinian locales.
Israeli authorities demolished 20 illegally-built, single- and multi-family homes in East Jerusalem overnight Monday, the most extensive house-demolition in the Palestinian sector of the capital in recent years.
Violent protests carried on through much of the night in the village of Qalandiyah, where most of the demolitions took place. Border Police fired sponge-tipped bullets, stun grenades and tear gas against some of the rioters, but there were no known injuries. Early Tuesday morning the troops accompanied Finance Ministry building inspectors to carry out the remaining demolitions.
“I have been in this business 20 years, and there was never such a widespread operation,” said Ahmad Subalaban, an area coordinator for the NGO Ir Amim, which promotes Jewish-Arab equality in Jerusalem. He added that in the past, “at most they would demolish four or five structures.”
We, the undersigned organizations, commend Oregon’s U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer for asking House Speaker John Boehner to cancel an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Rep. Blumenauer has stated that if the speech is not cancelled, he will refuse to attend. We implore all the members of Congress from Oregon to follow his example.
Our objections to the Netanyahu invitation go beyond the fact that: a.) This invitation is a breach of protocol, b.) It is a stunt timed just prior to a very close Israeli election and c.) It is an attempt by the Republican-controlled Congress to embarrass President Barack Obama.
The most serious objection to the invitation is that Netanyahu is attempting to scuttle negotiations between the United States and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program by urging Congress to impose additional sanctions on Iran. As Rep. Blumenauer states, the only solution in the best interests of all countries is a negotiated settlement. Why would Mr. Netanyahu be invited to thwart that effort? World leaders also recognize the danger of his address as interference with the diplomatic process and are also imploring that he not interfere.
Additional sanctions risk an end to the diplomatic path and an increase in tensions between our country and Iran that may lead to war. As a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran is under routine inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has never documented any evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Iran has called for the Middle East to be a nuclear weapons-free zone. In contrast, Israel has never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty and is known to possess nuclear weapons.
Inviting Netanyahu to address Congress is also reprehensible in view of Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza this past summer. Three respected human rights organizations—Amnesty International and the Israeli human rights groups B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights—have issued reports finding Israel guilty of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting civilians during its 51-day bombardment. Under Netanyahu’s government, Israel has continued unfettered settlement expansion and land confiscation, making a viable Palestinian state impossible. It continues to imprison Palestinians by using administrative detention laws that lack due process. It is unconscionable to invite a leader with such a dismal human rights record to address the U.S. Congress.
In short, Netanyahu’s speech is not in the best interests of the United States or of world peace. We, the undersigned, urge you to boycott the speech and speak out in opposition to any leader of a foreign nation seeking to intervene in the making of U.S. foreign policy.
Americans United for Palestinian
Human Rights, Corvallis/Albany Friends of Middle East Peace, Friends of Sabeel North America, Individuals for Justice, Jewish
Voice for Peace-Portland Chapter, Lutherans
for Justice in the Holy Land, Mission of the Atonement Holy Land Ministry, Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, Oregon
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Tree of Life Educational Fund-
West Coast, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Corvallis chapter), Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 and Linus Pauling Chapter.
Last week former Rep. Robert Wexler delivered a banal justification of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians before the Democratic National Convention’s platform drafting committee.
Dr. Cornel West, a member of the committee, respectfully pushed back. “For too long, the Democratic Party has been beholden to AIPAC,” West responded to applause. The party “didn’t take seriously the humanity of Palestinian brothers and sisters.”
But “we’re at a turning point now,” West continued. “And of course it’s going to be a slow one in the Democratic Party, but some of us will be working outside the Democratic Party to make it quicker. And that’s why I support the BDS [movement].”
This is must-see TV.
Israeli occupation is the main trigger of humanitarian needs among Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory
Jerusalem, 13 June 2016
Humanitarian needs in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continue to be driven by practices related to Israel’s prolonged occupation and continued conflict, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says in its 2015 Annual Humanitarian Overview, “Fragmented Lives,” released today.
“This month, Palestinians enter their 50th year under Israeli occupation,” said David Carden, Head of OCHA in the oPt. “‘Fragmented Lives’ shows clearly the devastating impact of this ongoing situation, mainly on 4.8 million Palestinians who are increasingly vulnerable due to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”
Read more: Israeli occupation is the main trigger of humanitarian needs among Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory
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