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US senators urge Netanyahu not to demolish Palestinian villages

November 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

Police officers take security measures as a bulldozer demolishes a two-storey building which was home to many Palestinians on 13 September 2017 [Mahmoud Ibrahem/Anadolu Agency]

Ten US senators have written to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him not to demolish Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The letter, initiated by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., states: “we have long championed a two-state solution as a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

“Yet, your government’s efforts to forcibly evict entire Palestinian communities and expand settlements throughout the West Bank not only directly imperil a two-state solution, but we believe also endanger Israel’s future as a Jewish democracy”.

JTA notes that nine of the signatories are Democrats and four of them Jewish.

The Israeli authorities have declared their intention of demolishing Susiya, a Palestinian village near Hebron, and Khan al-Ahmar, a village east of Jerusalem.

Read: Israel demolishes Palestinian village Al-Araqeeb for 121st time

The other Jewish senators to sign the letter are Al Franken of Minnesota and Brian Schatz of Hawaii. Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Tom Carper of Delaware, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Jeff Merkley of Oregon also signed.

Liberal Zionist pressure group J Street welcomed the letter “as a sign that top lawmakers are increasingly speaking out about alarming actions by the Israeli government that undermine the two-state solution and endanger Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people”.