Human rights group accuses Israel of ‘war crime’ as it demolishes Palestinian homes

JCB destroying a building
Support us and go ad-free

As Israeli forces demolished more Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank on 4 July, human rights group B’Tselem reminded Israel that “forcible transfer of Palestinian communities is a war crime”.

Leaving occupied civilians without a home

In a press release on 4 July, B’Tselem explained:

Civil Administration personnel came with three bulldozers and an escort of dozens of police to the Palestinian community of Abu a-Nuwar, which is in the region of the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. They demolished nine dwellings and three farm buildings, leaving 62 people – about half of them minors – without a home.

It also released the following video of the demolitions:

In the Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar, meanwhile, B’Tselem said police had:

arrested several people who were staging a non-violent protest and blocking a bulldozer from getting through. Also arrested was B’Tselem Field Research Director Kareem Jubran who was filming events as they unfolded.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Authorities later released Jubran from detention.

“Forcible transfer is a war crime”

In recent weeks, B’Tselem has been leading a campaign – supported by hundreds of international public figures – against the forcible transfer of Palestinian civilians. It says:

We’re not talking about something hypothetical. It’s something that’s happening right now, every day: Israel is trying to displace thousands of Palestinians who live in about 200 farming-shepherding communities throughout Area C of the West Bank. Dozens of these communities face imminent expulsion, and others are subject to various forms of abuse, violence and dispossession.

The Israeli human rights group continued by insisting:

It is a crime to transfer the protected residents of an occupied territory from their homes, regardless of whether the transfer is accomplished by brute force or by making residents’ life so unbearable that they leave, ostensibly of their own accord. Either way, forcible transfer is prohibited and constitutes a war crime.

The organisation also explained that:

Israel’s strategy is to forbid Palestinian construction of either private or public buildings. It also denies them the option of connecting to running water and electricity, and keeps them from paving roads. In some communities, Israel has demolished homes as well as infrastructure set up by the residents – such as solar panels for generating power, water cisterns and access roads…

This is a form of organized, ongoing state violence designed to minimize Palestinian presence in the West Bank by gathering residents into several sites, while dispossessing them of their land and property.

‘Nothing can make this lawful or moral’

In its press release on 4 July, B’Tselem stressed:

no military order or court ruling can make the transfer of these residents lawful or moral. Forcible transfer of Palestinian communities is a war crime, and all who are involved in approving or implementing it bear personal liability.

If you agree with B’Tselem, you know what to do:

Get Involved!

Join B’Tselem’s campaign against the forcible transfer of civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

– Also support the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, and see previous Canary articles about recent boycott campaigns.

– In the UK, meanwhile, you can write to your national or local politicians to share your concerns.

Featured image via screenshot

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed