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Rights group demands Israel demolitions of Palestine homes be referred to ICC

'The Israeli occupation forces continue to demolish Palestinians’ houses in the Occupied Territories without regard for international law'

Hemaya Centre For Human Rights has called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to form a legal committee of Palestinian lawyers and experts in order to prepare a legal file on the policy of collective punishment practised by the Israeli occupation authorities, notably houses demolition, and to submit it to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to SAFA, the Centre condemned the demolition of a house belonging to the Khalifa family in Kalandia camp north of Jerusalem. According to the Centre’s follow-up, a large number of Israeli soldiers raided the Kalandia refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, and evacuated the 3-storey house of the family of martyr Ali Hassan Khalifa; then, bulldozers demolished the house on Al-Quds Street near Kalandia checkpoint.

The Centre stated that the Israeli occupation forces continue to demolish Palestinians’ houses in the Occupied Territories without regard for international law, in a crime that amounts to collective punishment. It added that these Israeli practices are a flagrant violation of the principles of international law, in particular the Geneva Convention, which affirms that a protected person may not be punished for an act he has not personally done, in addition to violating civilians’ rights, especially their right to housing, resulting potentially in denying thousands of people shelter.

The Centre stressed that the international community’s failure to take a firm position on the occupation policy in the Occupied Territories encouraged it to commit further violations of international human rights, humanitarian and international law as well as international legitimacy resolutions.

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The Centre called upon the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to assume its legal and moral responsibilities and to fulfil its obligations and work towards finding a mechanism forcing the occupation state to respect the rules of international law and UN resolutions related to the Palestinian cause.

The employees of the so-called Bedouin Development and Settlement Authority in the occupied Negev and the Israel Lands Administration (ILA), under the protection of dozens of Israeli police units, raided the sixth suburb in the city of Rahat and posted 140 demolition orders on populated houses. The houses belong to the families of Ataiqa and Beheiri. The occupation authorities also attached a demolition order to the Rabat Mosque, which has been built more than 40 years ago, according to the inhabitants of the suburb.

Residents of the sixth suburb issued a statement addressed to the residents of Rahat and the Negev warning them of an attempt by the Bedouin Development and Settlement Authority in the coming days to market building plots in the area. The residents of the sixth suburb also called on the Bedouins of the Negev to boycott the Israeli authority’s plan to displace them, and not to buy the building plots, as the whole land belongs to families of Ataiqa and Beheiri who lived on it for more than 70 years.

According to the statement, those who violate the consensus will be tried by the tribal judiciary according to custom in the land cases. The locals called on the Rahat Municipality and the Arab leadership in the Palestinian interior to join their struggle against forced displacement.

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