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Dozens of British MPs urge ‘economic pressure’ on Israel over demolitions policy

April 26, 2018 at 10:59 am

Palestinians watch the demolition of their home in Jordan Valley on 7 November 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Dozens of British parliamentarians have urged the UK government to apply “economic pressure” on Israel over the latter’s ongoing, illegal policy of demolishing Palestinian homes and structures in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Early Day Motion, titled ‘Demolition Plans in Khan Al-Ahmar in the West Bank’, was tabled on 17 April and as of Wednesday, 25 April had attracted the support of 47 MPs from Labour, the Conservatives, the Scottish National Party, and Plaid Cymru.

The motion’s title relates to an Israeli Supreme Court hearing on Israeli authorities’ planned demolition of buildings in Khan al-Ahmar village in the occupied West Bank. This morning, Human Rights Watch official Omar Shakir reported that the court had postponed its decision by a week.

The motion “condemns those plans and the impact they will have on communities in the occupied Palestinian territories”, and states that “the demolition of these buildings would be a flagrant disregard by Israel of both the will of the international community and the international legal order”.

Read: Israel forces demolition new school in Hebron

The MPs go further, however, and note the wider context in the occupied Palestinian territory of a “coercive environment of threatened demolition, illegal settlement expansion and forcible displacement”, a “daily reality faced by [Palestinian] communities” under Israeli occupation.

The motion “welcomes the actions taken by the EU in issuing a demarche to Israel”, and “reminds the Government of its duties as a signatory to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

The MPs call on the UK government “to exert meaningful and decisive political, diplomatic and economic pressure on the Israeli authorities to halt the demolitions programme as a whole and, in particular, to abandon attempts to demolish the school and other buildings in Khan al-Ahmar”.

Palestinian Home Demolitions - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Palestinian Home Demolitions – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]