B’Tselem: Demolishing Palestinian Communities a War Crime
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
In a letter to Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Justice Minister Ayelet (“little snakes) Shaked, IDF chief Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, and Civil Administration head Gen. Achvat Ben Hur, B’Tselem called planned Israeli demolitions of Susiya and Khan Al Ahmar war crimes they’ll bear personal responsibility for.
The human rights group responded to Lieberman saying these communities are slated for demolition – claiming they were built “without authorization.”
Israel considers construction on privately owned Palestinian land illegal, according to its apartheid injustice, wanting all valued parts of Judea and Samaria for exclusive Jewish development.
Demolishing entire Palestinian communities is unprecedented, other than so-called “unrecognized” Bedouin villages.
In its letter, B’Tselem cited Fourth Geneva. It prohibits transfer of protected persons inside occupied territory, forcibly or by other means – if they leave involuntarily.
Departure because electricity, running water, and other essential public services were cut off constitutes prohibited forced removal.
B’Tselem: “Israel’s planning policy in 60% of the West Bank, which is defined as Area C, denies Palestinian residents virtually any possibility of construction for residential purposes, prohibits connections to infrastructure and precludes public construction to match residents’ needs, such as schools, medical clinics and playgrounds.”
“It also obstructs the development of communities in Areas A and B, whose land reserves lie within Area C.”
“This policy forces the residents to subsist on minimal means, without connections to electricity and water networks, and denies them any possibility of developing their communities to suit their current and future needs.”
“In the absence of any other option, residents are forced to build without receiving permits from the authorities, subsequently living in constant uncertainty and fear of demolition.”
Israel’s policy is criminal, its half century occupation illegal, its harshness barbaric, its intention – slow-motion genocide, wanting maximum Jews and minimum Arabs.
In 2016, “B’Tselem documented the most massive use of demolitions since it began documenting the practice in 2004,” its letter said.
Israel’s permit policy is a scheme to steal Palestinian land. Its repression is worse than South Africa’s. It’s a sophisticated form of social, economic, political and racial discrimination, as well as strangulation and slow-motion genocide.
It incorporates the worst elements of colonialism and apartheid, along with repressive dispossession, displacement and state terrorism to separate Palestinians from their land and heritage, deny them their rightful civil and human rights, gradually removing them from their land, heading toward eliminating them altogether.
Apartheid is the worst form of racism, Israeli militarized occupation its worst form.
It features wars at Israel’s discretion, state-sponsored terror, military incursions, land theft, home demolitions, targeted assassinations, murder, mass arrests, torture, destruction of agricultural land, and isolation – measures amounting to genocide, including suffocating Gazans under siege.
Israel unjustifiably justifies lawlessness, expelling Palestinians from their homes and communities, authorized at the highest levels.
“B’Tselem: “For many years, Israel’s planning authorities and the Supreme Court, among others, have given their seal of approval to almost all demolition orders brought before them, turning a blind eye to the unlawfulness of Israel’s policy and to the consequences of its implementation.”
“By doing so, they have enabled the expulsion of residents who have been left homeless. These decisions do not render unlawful actions legal; rather, they turn the decision-makers into accessories to a crime.”
All persons involved in forced transfers of Palestinians are culpable for their criminality – including Netanyahu, Lieberman, Supreme Court justices and other high ranking officials.
B’Tselem called on Israel to refrain from demolishing Susiya and Khan Al Ahmar.
Its regime does what it pleases. Operating extrajudicially is longstanding practice.
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