Israel committed its biggest crime of ethnic cleansing since 1967, destroying homes of hundreds of Palestinian families in Wadi Hummus, occupied East Jerusalem. Our most effective response is BDS.
On Monday, Israel committed its biggest crime of ethnic cleansing since 1967, against the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Hummus in occupied East Jerusalem. In a military raid that began at dawn, Israeli soldiers destroyed, in just a few hours, the homes of hundreds of Palestinian families. This attack came almost immediately after an Israeli military court had authorized the demolitions. Another 116 homes are under imminent threat of demolition in Wadi Hummus.
The magnitude of the crime is not only its sheer scale.
If Israel’s aggressive home demolitions are not stopped now, other Palestinian communities will be next. In Jerusalem alone, at least one third of all Palestinian homes are at risk of demolition. This would mean the forcible displacement of some 100,000 Palestinians. On the outskirts of Jerusalem, 46 Palestinian – Bedouin communities have been struggling for years against the threat of expulsion.
Israel’s ability to ethnically cleanse the indigenous Palestinian population of Jerusalem and to force Palestinians into Bantustans carved out by its illegal wall and settlements can be hampered by the mobilisation of people power.
Israel had put Wadi Hummus in a grotesque situation years ago. Most of the lands where Palestinian homes have been built are in Areas A and B, according to the zoning of the Oslo Agreements, and thus under the administrative control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Yet, the wall has de facto annexed the area to Jerusalem, isolating it from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.
By carrying out home demolitions for the first time in areas under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, citing as a pretext that the homes were too close to the apartheid wall, itself illegal, Israel has sent a clear message that there is no safe space for Palestinians, and that the only boundaries that count are the ones drawn by Israel’s military – rubber stamped by its courts and by the complicity of the international community and corporations.
This latest Israeli crime takes place exactly 15 years after the UN General Assembly endorsed by an overwhelming majority the verdict of the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the wall. That UN decision reminded all states of their obligation “to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law”.
Home demolitions are part and parcel of Israel’s regime of occupation, colonisation and apartheid over the Palestine people. This regime manifests itself in many forms, including the seige of and recurrent military assaults on two million Palestinians in Gaza, the incarceration of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and administrative detainees, the denial of Palestinian refugees’ rights, the escalating construction of illegal settlements, and the long list of racist laws, including the Jewish Nation-State law that confers constitutional status on Israel’s apartheid regime.
Our most effective response to this regime and the institutions and corporations that enable its crimes is Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Boycotts and sanctions played a decisive role in ending apartheid in South Africa, and they are playing an increasingly impactful role in ending Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid.
We need to step up our grassroots efforts for accountability and to ensure respect for Palestinian rights.
Let’s escalate and strengthen our ongoing campaigns by:
- Building awareness and campaigns for cutting all military and security ties with Israel, including ending joint military/security research with Israel.
- Joining the calls for HSBC to divest from Caterpillar, whose machinery has been used to destroy homes in Wadi Hummus.
- Joining the campaign to pressure HP corporations to end their complicity in Israeli human rights violations, including the provision of servers to Israel’s National Population Registry. That Registry administers the citizenship policies that deprive Israel’s Palestinian citizens and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem of their basic human and civil rights.
- Strengthening and building campaigns calling on churches, trade unions and pension funds to divest from and/or exclude from procurements all corporate criminals involved in Israel’s human rights violations, including home demolitions and ethnic cleansing. These include Caterpillar, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Volvo and JCB.
- Calling on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to stand up to pressure from Israel and its lobby groups and to release the database of 206 corporations involved in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
Click to Tweet below:
. @MBachelet @UNHumanRights: The demolition of 100 homes in Wadi Hummus is the latest example of Israel’s crimes against Palestinians. #StopEthnicCleansing #UNGiveUsTheNamesAlready of companies profiting from the Israeli occupation. (Click to Tweet)
. @MBachelet @UNHumanRights: To #StopEthnicCleansing against the Palestinian people, corporate complicity must end. We must know which companies are profiting from Israeli war crimes & prolonged occupation. #UNGiveUstheNamesAlready (Click to Tweet)
Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)