Tell Congress: Say No to Home Demolitions
Since the beginning of 2021 demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have intensified significantly. According to a recent report by UN OCHA, in February alone, “the Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized 153 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank.” This constitutes the fourth-highest figure since OCHA began documenting this data in 2009. Despite the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, demolition threats have increased.
Recent demolition orders in the al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem could displace up to 1,500 Palestinians to make way for an archeological park. Over 100 Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, and 700 in Batn al-Hawa, are also in danger of displacement to make room for Israeli settlements. The United States Government must not be silent as Palestinians in East Jerusalem face continued threats of demolition. Each demolition threatens the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem and moves us further away from a just and lasting end to the conflict in Israel-Palestine.
The Biden Administration has consistently said it opposes all “unilateral steps” including “demolitions” that will weaken a negotiated solution to the conflict. Congress must hold the Biden Administration to its word and ask the State Department and other relevant agencies to do everything in their power to stop the Israeli government from proceeding with its planned demolitions in East Jerusalem. Without decisive action, the increase in demolitions throughout the West Bank will only continue.
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