Stop Palestinian Home Demolitions

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Stop Palestinian Home Demolitions

This petition had 445 supporters
Australian Jewish Democratic Socety started this petition to The Right Hon Julie Bishop MP (Minister for Foreign Affairs)

In recent weeks two important processes have happened in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank. Firstly, the Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has increased house demolitions and other steps to forcibly remove as many as 7000 Palestinians from their homes. Home demolitions entrench hopelessness and hatred and with it violence and armed conflict and counter efforts to foster solutions. Such demolitions are evidence of this government’s commitment to stay true to its pre-election declaration that they would never allow the establishment of a Palestinian State. Secondly, we have seen that international pressure has managed to freeze some operations, showing us that we can make a difference.

 The entire village of Susiya in the South Hebron Hills was marked for demolition by the Israeli High Court on May 5 2015.  The plan is to forcibly transfer over 250 people from the place in which they have lived since before the occupation of the West Bank began in 1967.  With impending bulldozers at the door, the village’s resistance and global solidarity resulted in a temporary military freeze awaiting further negotiations.  The fight is not over yet, and we need to keep speaking out.  As a recent 7.30 Report episode showed, Australian aid money is directly invested in the village of Susiya. We must therefore ask why the Australian government stands by as homes and structures funded by Australian aid money await demolition.

In the area east of Jerusalem, known as the E1 area, Israel is planning to forcibly transfer as many as 7,000 Palestinians from 46 communities to further develop the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumin. This would effectively cut the West Bank in two, furthering the bantustanization of the West Bank and Palestinian territories and drastically diminishing the viability of a Palestinian state.  The UN Secretary-General has said that if this plan goes ahead it will be in violation of international law and represent a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. 

The E1 development plan was instigated in 1994 but has been repeatedly hindered due to Palestinian resistance and international pressure.  In recent weeks we have seen the first round of demolitions in the area. Since the beginning of the year Israel has demolished over 300 Palestinian structures in the West Bank.

The lead up to Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is a most opportune time to be mindful of our responsibilities as global citizens and as Jews.  In speaking out at these injustices we place genuine value on the concepts of forgiveness and repentance. These demolitions and settlement expansions are an unnecessary act of aggression that serve only to deepen the suffering and anguish and undermine any genuine effort to create lasting justice, peace and security for both peoples.

 

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