Urgent appeal from Ecumenical Accompaniers in the Holy Land


The entire villages of Khan Al Ahmar and Susiya in the occupied West are in imminent danger of being demolished any day now.

If the demolitions and forcible displacement of the villagers go ahead they will be in grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and will leave hundreds of men, women and children homeless. Israeli human rights group B'Tselem say that the forcible transfer of an entire Palestinian community in the occupied Palestinian territories would be "virtually unprecedented" since the Israeli military occupation began in 1967.

Final court hearings for the communities are due to be heard on Monday, September 25 (for Khan Al Ahmar) and October 1 (for Susiya) during which the judges are expected to authorise the demolitions. If so, the demolitions could take place as soon as the next day.

The communities have asked for all our efforts to help stop these demolitions. Please use the template email below to contact your MP (in the UK) or TD (in Ireland) asking them to take urgent action.

You can find out how to contact your MP or TD on the UK Parliament: www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/website or on the Who is my TD? website here: www.whoismytd.com

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear [elected representative],

I am writing as your constituent to ask you to act urgently to stop the imminent and unprecedented decision to demolish two entire Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank.

As reported in the news, the villagers of Khan Al Ahmar and Susiya are due to have their final day in court within the next week to plead the case for their communities. If, as expected, the judges rule against the villagers, the demolition of their homes could take place as soon as the next day.

The demolition of the villages will leave hundreds of men, women, and children homeless. The Israeli Minister of Defense confirmed on August 29 that preparations to transfer both communities out of the area were almost complete.

The demolitions will be in grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (4GC). Article 46 of the 4GC prohibits the destruction of personal property by an Occupying Power unless it is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. Article 49 prohibits all forcible transfers of civilian populations by an Occupying Power.

I ask that you take urgent action in the next few days. Please can you:

Share the news of these imminent demolitions among your colleagues and networks, and on your social media accounts;

Contact the UK Foreign Secretary / Irish Foreign Minister urgently to ask him to make immediate representations to the Israeli Embassy and government to reverse the demolition orders. Please also send your own representations to the Israeli Embassy;

Contact the UK Foreign Office / Irish Foreign Ministry urgently to ask that diplomats visit Khan Al Ahmar and Susiya with other Heads of Missions as a public sign of support to the communities. This follows a similar visit made by all EU Heads of Missions in 2015 to Susiya. The international publicity from the visit was vital in helping to halt the planned demolitions then.

The short film Nowhere Left to Go - www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOxwVlGn0R4 - gives an insight into the lives of Palestinians in the Khan Al Ahmar area targeted for forcible transfer.

Please take urgent action to stop these imminent violations of international law. I look forward to hearing your response.

Kind regards,
[your name]

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