Subject: URGENT LETTER: Imminent risk of demolitions in the West Bank.
Due to the imminent risk of demolitions of E1 and Susiya vulnerable communities in the West Bank, scheduled for next Sunday 12 March, I hereby propose a letter to be addressed to the HRVP Mogherini and EEAS.
Please let me know by Friday March 10th at 12:00h, should you be willing to co-sign it. Apologies for the short notice.
Javier Nart MEP
Brussels, 10 March 2017
Dear High Representative,
We are writing to transmit to you our deepest concerns about the rapid advancement of plans by the Government of Israel to transfer 46 Bedouin communities located in the Central West Bank occupied territories into relocations sites. Notably, the communities of Susiya and Khan Al Ahmar are of particular concern now because of impending large demolitions in the forthcoming days/weeks.
Khan al Ahmar, located in the strategic E1 corridor and slated for relocation, is composed of five of the most vulnerable communities of Area C, and is home to the emblematic rubber-tire school (Italian, Belgian and EU-funded) which provides education to 170 children from Abu Heul and neighbouring communities. The imminent demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin communities is expected to arrive as soon as Sunday, 12 March.
On Sunday 5th March, the community was given seven calendar days to self-demolish all their homes and the school before the military bulldozers enter into the community and destroy the structures.
The transfer of Khan Al Ahmar out of E1, combined with plans for settlement expansion, marks the preface of other developments that will foreclose the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, as stated in innumerable EU, US and UN statements.
On the other hand, Susiya’s community is home to 340 people, located in the South Hebron Hills. The risk of demolition, postponed for years thanks to the EU and US’ engagement, has once again increased.
Despite significant diplomatic efforts made by the EU delegation in Jerusalem, Member States consulates and some EU capitals in engaging extensively to prevent this human tragedy and serious violation of international law from materialising, we have, unfortunately, no indication that the current pressure is having any effect on the Israeli authorities.
Recalling the Council Conclusions of the Middle East Peace Process of 18 January 2016, High Representative, we urge you to use all the diplomatic efforts and the means at your disposal to oppose the forced transfer of these and other communities at risk, being a clear and grave violation of IHL as well as a war crime under the Statute of Rome.
We, Members of the European Parliament, call for a leading EU voice. Now more than ever, the EU must take stronger stand in protecting the viability of a two-state solution.