Both the United Nations and the European Union have called on the Israeli occupation to stop the forced eviction policy of Palestinian communities from their lands.
This came after a visit by international officials to Palestinian communities threatened with eviction in the southern West Bank, on Monday.
The delegation included officials from 5 United Nations agencies and 11 non-governmental organisations, as well as diplomats representing 24 countries, including Germany, the European Union, Turkey, Denmark, France, Finland, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Norway and the Netherlands.
The United Nations stated that Israel’s expulsion of Palestinian communities for conducting military exercises was an “inhumane” measure, calling for Palestinians to be kept in their homes “with dignity.
The UN statement quoted the Acting Humanitarian Coordinator, Samer Abdel-Jaber, as saying that “the expulsion of 13 communities to make way for military exercises (…) is simply inhumane and has no legal status.”
He added: “The responsibility placed on the shoulders of the Israeli authorities, as the occupying power, is to protect Palestinian civilians.” He also called on the Israeli government to “allow the residents to stay here with dignity.”
For its part, the office of the European Union representative said on Twitter that the people demanded during the visit an international move to stop the forced eviction of them.
He added: “Under international law, Israel has a duty to protect the Palestinian population in the occupied territories and not to displace them.”
On May 4, the Israeli High Court of Justice approved the eviction of Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta to allow for Israeli military training, and about 1,200 people, including 580 children, are now at risk of imminent eviction and displacement from their areas of residence, according to the statement.
The United Nations believes that these people will likely lose their homes, belongings, access to water supplies, livelihoods, primary health facilities and schools.
It says that the eviction of Palestinians may amount to “forced deportation and a grave breach of international humanitarian law, and consequently constitute a war crime,” according to the statement.