Ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, "legalized" dispossession in all of the West Bank

AFPS press release, Monday 21 November 2016

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In his testimony before the Security Council on October 14th, the director of B’Tselem, Hagai El-Ad, denounced the injustice of the occupation, stating: “I implore you today to take action!” In response, he received threats to strip him of his citizenship.

Meanwhile, very real hysteria was sparked by UNESCO’s votes on Jerusalem, which Israel pretended to interpret as a negation of the bonds of Judaism with the holy city. This was pure theater; the Council of Paris played along with scandalous complacency.

The facts, in their brutality, allow us to understand that we are witnessing the masking of reality. In Jerusalem, 2016 has marked a steep acceleration in the destruction of Palestinian buildings and homes. According to the Israeli NGO Ir Amim (City of Nations), a total of 190 buildings, including 122 housing units, had been destroyed by November 15th, compared to 74 over the entirety of the previous year. To add insult to injury, the forced destruction is increasingly carried out by the inhabitants themselves, in order to avoid adding the fees charged by the Occupation Authorities’ designated demolition companies to already high fines.

This inhuman and calculated policy is designed for the purpose of ethnic cleansing, by making the living conditions in Jerusalem and the "annexed" zone unbearable. Nevertheless, the Palestinians of Jerusalem have resisted, staying where they are despite increasingly precarious conditions.

On November 16th, in response to a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court declaring the Amona settlement illegal, the Knesset voted on a first reading of a law legalizing "outposts" and thousands of housing units built on privately Palestinian-owned land. This law would make it possible to disregard the negative opinions issued by Supreme Court – an expert, after all, on the "legalization" of dispossession cases! – and to transfer a Palestinian property, via a “public property” administrator, to a new owner. This law is a bona fide legal monstrosity, and is considered as such even by the higher echelons of the State.

Once again, France is put to the test. If France truly wishes to defend international lawfulness, it must reiterate that the annexation of Jerusalem by Israel is null and void, and that all the settlements are fundamentally illegal, and it must oppose any measures to perpetuate them via effective sanctions. This is the aim of the campaign launched on November 16th by the AFPS and its partners in the National Collective and “Trop c’est Trop!” (the collective “Too Much is Too Much!”) for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. We must stop the infernal machine of occupation and colonization.

The Executive Board