The Israeli occupation is seeking to accomplish what it began in 1948 of displacement and ethnic cleansing.
An Arab campaign led by Saudi Arabia is encouraging the occupation to proceed with its abusive policies against the Palestinians.
It is imperative that international and judicial measures are taken to deter the occupation and hold its leaders accountable.
In the largest campaign of mass demolitions since 1967, and in the darkness of the night, Israeli occupation forces carried out its largest mass demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem. This included 16 residential buildings, with more than 100 apartments. The residents, who include women and children, were consequently displaced.
The demolition campaign took place at dusk on Monday, July 22, after Israeli occupation forces stormed Wadi al-Homs in the village of Sur Baher, south of occupied Jerusalem, with the procession of a large number of bulldozers, diggers and detonation experts. Israeli occupation forces evacuated the targeted buildings and attacked the women, men and children in a scene reminiscent of the 1948 Nakba when occupation gangs displaced the population through a systematic cleansing campaign on religious and ethnic grounds.
The description of ethnic cleansing through a demolition process is not an exaggeration. Indeed, in all countries and in normal circumstances, if any buildings are found violating any regulations, they cannot be demolished because the damage caused by demolition is much greater than any violation perpetrated. In such circumstances, authorities resort to dealing with the violation and settling it. However, the Israeli occupation is based on a system aimed at emptying Jerusalem of its Arab population, and it chooses the barbaric option of demolition, replacing the homes with housing units for settlers, buildings which are untouchable, even if they are built by violating regulations.
The occupation does not have the authority to plan and systematise. It is an occupied land owned by the Palestinians, and they have competent bodies that deal with and settle such alleged violations. However, the occupation does not care about the housing crisis that is suffocating the Arab population in Jerusalem. It is concerned only with exacerbating it through military orders and decisions which prevent even the mere renovation of crumbling housing units, whilst continuing to expand the settlements.
The occupation’s agenda in Jerusalem is no longer hidden. The Israeli government implements its plans in Jerusalem with the support of the US administration, and in the shadow provided by the League of Arab States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and international forces which are blind to the occupation’s crimes.
Most dangerously is the existence of an Arab campaign led by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, who have become more Zionist than the Zionists themselves. They have reversed the facts and made the Palestinians the executioners and the occupier the one with the rights to the land, and who therefore, has the right and freedom to act as they please, both against the land and its occupants.
What the occupation is doing in demolishing houses and displacing the population comes in the framework of a systematic plan to empty the land of its population, a crime that began in 1948.
Palestinians are racing against time to preserve their presence while facing a dangerous attack led by the close before the distant. This requires the need to combine all legal, judicial and civil efforts to deter the occupation and those who stand behind it.
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) calls on the Palestinian Authority to escalate its motions to the International Criminal Court to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes. It calls on them to insist on holding an extraordinary session at the United Nations General Assembly under the UN resolution ‘Uniting for Peace’ to take the necessary measures to protect the Palestinian people and take punitive action against leaders of the occupation.
AOHR UK calls on the international humanitarian community to act in support of the Palestinian people by all necessary means. Indeed, silence over the occupation’s crimes encourages them to press on with their aggressive policies against the Palestinian people.