Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Increased Demolitions in the Jordan Valley

This is an important Middle East Network Action Alert from the ELCA. Please read this report carefully and take the action steps recommended.

Increased Demolitions in the Jordan Valley
Families Homeless due to Demolitions in the Jordan Valley

[The best way to take action is to go the Action Alert Link and follow the instructions for contacting Members of Congress, Daniel Rubinstein, the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem, and Dr. Michael B. Oren, Ambassador of Israel to the United States.]

In the first six months of 2011, home demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territories displaced 706 individuals, including 341 minors, the majority of whom reside in the Jordan Valley.

The Palestinian population in the Jordan Valley has consistently faced discriminatory Israeli policies related to planning, building, and access to land and water. Over 94 percent of building permit applications submitted by Palestinians to the Israeli authorities between 2000 and September 2007 were rejected. The Jordan Valley is home to an estimated 150,000 Palestinians, but is classified as part of Area C, one of three zones identified as part of the Oslo Accords, and over which the Israeli government has both civil and security authority.

Much of the Jordan Valley’s land has been declared a "closed military zone" by the Israeli army or has been annexed into Israeli settlements, effectively turning the Jordan Valley into an Israeli-controlled enclave within the occupied Palestinian territories. Attempts by the authorities to remove the Palestinian population from Area C appear to be escalating.*

Summary of Events (June 2011):
On June 21, the Israeli army destroyed 29 homes and other properties in the Bedouin hamlet of Hadidiya in the Jordan Valley, leaving 11 children and 16 adults without homes.

Also on June 21, five structures (two homes, a shared kitchen and two animal shelters) were demolished in Khirbet Yarza, in the northern Jordan Valley, affecting 30 people, of which 8 are children.

On June 14, demolitions were carried out in Al-Fasayal, in the southern Jordan Valley, which, according to Jordan Valley Solidarity, displaced an estimated 103 people, including 64 children.

Earlier this month, the Israeli army destroyed a tent and three animal shelters in Hadidiya, displacing a family of 10 on grounds that they had relocated their home one hundred meters from its original site to a closed military area.

For more information read this article from Maan News Agency or watch this video provided via YouTube by EAPPI.
TAKE ACTION: Contact the following officials to condemn the acts above and to call for all demolition and eviction orders against Palestinians in the West Bank to be cancelled immediately.

Contact Your Members of Congress at and or through the "Take Action" link on this e-mail.

Contact Mr. Daniel Rubinstein, U.S. Consul General, Jerusalem:
Mr. Daniel Rubinstein
Consul General
U.S. Consulate
Via Fax: 011 972 2 624 9462

Contact Dr. Michael B. Oren, Ambassador of Israel to the United States:
Dr. Michael B. Oren
Ambassador of Israel to the United States
3514 International Drive, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Telephone: 202-364-5500
Fax: 202-364-5423
For more information on current events in the Jordan Valley, see the May 2011 B'Tselem report: "Dispossession and Exploitation: Israel’s Policy in the Jordan Valley and Northern Dead Sea". Also see "Worrying Increase in home demolitions" [from UNRWA.]
[See also the June 21 B'Tselem report Israel Demolishes...
* The International Court of Justice has stated that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War applies to the occupied Palestinian territories. The systematic policy of house demolitions carried out against Palestinian residents contravenes Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids "any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons" except where such destruction is rendered "absolutely necessary by military operations."

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