Dr. Saeb Erekat on Netanyahu's Orders to Forcibly Transfer Palestinian Communities in Occupied Palestine

Press Releases
November 18, 2017

The year 2017 is coming to an end as Israel continues to commit war crimes and ruthless violations of international humanitarian and human rights law against the land and people of Palestine. Throughout 2017, Israel announced the construction of thousands of settlement units throughout the Occupied State of Palestine and in the process demolished over 350 structures, including homes and donor-funded structures, leading to the displacement of nearly 600 Palestinians, half of whom are children. 

Israel continues to forcibly transfer the Palestinian population for the expansion and further consolidation of its illegal colonial settlement enterprise on lands belonging to the State of Palestine.  Early November, the occupying power ordered the forcible transfer of 201 families living in Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamal; two herding communities in the northern Jordan Valley.  And last Thursday, Jabal Al-Baba Bedouin Community in the eastern Jerusalem Governorate has received a similar order calling on the families to evacuate from their second home after they were forcibly evicted from Al-Naqab desert in 1948 during the Nakba (catastrophe). 

Also on Thursday, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly ordered the eviction of Palestinian Bedouin communities living in the eastern Jerusalem Governorate, including Jabal Al-Baba Bedouin community, and to forcibly transfer the families to relocation sites in Jericho and Abu-Dis village. This move is directly related to the intention of the Israeli government to advance its E1 settlement plan that threatens the existence of Palestinians to replace them with 15,000 illegal Israeli settlers (3,500 settlement housing units). This will lead to the full isolation of the city of Jerusalem, denying the city of its last remaining area for future growth and economic development, and to the permanent severing of the West Bank into two parts. The E1 settlement plan was rejected by successive American administrations and was described as the "last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution" and also as "a red line that cannot be crossed" by President Mahmoud Abbas. 

As a result of the international community's failure to hold Israel accountable, Israeli war crimes continue to deny Palestine's right to exist. UN member states and international organizations are obliged to immediately assume their responsibilities to protect the people of Palestine, specifically under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Regulations. It's also urgent for the United Nations to fulfill its obligations in accordance with international law and resolutions, including the recent Security Council Resolution 2334. We are systematically documenting Israeli crimes and violations and making those facts available to the relevant international organizations. Among the relevant information for international parties, there are also the names of companies, both Israeli and international, that continue to profit from the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestine. 

For the future of Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and security, it's necessary that Israel endorses and commits to the two-state solution on the 1967 border towards ending its occupation, oppression and systematic policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

  • 1. Figure was corrected, compared to the first statement.
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