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Israel must protect Palestinians, not displace them, says EU 

Members of a EU delegation attend a press conference at the seaport at the end of their visit to Gaza Strip, on November 25, 2021 [MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images]
Members of a EU delegation attend a press conference at the seaport at the end of their visit to Gaza Strip, on November 25, 2021 [MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images]

The European Union (EU) on Friday criticised the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling for evicting more than 1,300 Palestinians from Masafer Yatta, south of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

"Under international law, individual or mass forcible transfers and deportation of protected persons from occupied territories are prohibited, regardless of their motive," the EU tweeted. "As the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to protect the Palestinian population and not displace it."

On Wednesday, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the eviction and demolition of eight Palestinian villages in Masafer Yatta.

As a result of this decision, about 1,300 Palestinians in the area face the risk of imminent forcible transfer from their homes and the destruction of their communities.

READ: Israel to build 4,000 new settlement units in occupied West Bank

Masafer Yatta residents and Israeli rights groups say that many of the Palestinian families living there have been permanently residing in the area since before the Israeli occupation of the area in 1967.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), along with Masafer Yatta residents, petitioned against the expulsion and said the verdict would have "unprecedented consequences".

ACRI said in a statement: "The High Court has officially authorised leaving entire families, with their children and their elderly, without a roof over their heads."

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