ICHR calls upon the international community to intervene immediately in stopping the crimes of the occupation in Wadi Al-Homs

ICHR calls upon the international community to intervene immediately

in stopping the crimes of the occupation in Wadi Al-Homs

and

to Follow up on the Case of the Demolition of the Palestinian Houses in the International Criminal Court

 

 

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) deplores the crimes of the Israeli occupation and its continuous attacks against our people; and condemns the escalation of the Occupation’s demolition and displacement operations in the Wadi al-Homs neighborhood in the village of Sur Bahir, south of Jerusalem.

On Monday morning, 22 July, the Israeli occupation authorities began to demolish 100 apartments, housing about 500 citizens, who, according to the Oslo Accords, have obtained their building permits from the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

The escalation of demolition of houses and properties comes in the context of the occupation authorities’ plan to control Judaize the city of Jerusalem and its environs. The demolitions in the West Bank in general and in the occupied city of Jerusalem and its environs in particular have escalated during the last three years, especially following the United States Administration’s decision in late 2017 that recognized the occupied city of Jerusalem as the capital of the occupying state.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the total number of demolitions of homes and structures has increased to 333 since the beginning of 2019. This resulted in the displacement of 439 Palestinians from their homes compared to 460 demolitions and 472 displacement cases In 2018. In the area of ​​Jerusalem, since the beginning of the year 2019 till the present day, there have been about 126 demolitions resulting in the displacement of 203 Palestinians forcibly, and affected 1036 other Palestinians, compared to 177 demolitions and the displacement of about 176 Palestinians affecting 912 others In Jerusalem and its environs in 2018.

Through the continuous demolition of homes at such a wide scale, the Israeli occupation authorities violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which prohibits the collective or individual forcible transfer of persons or their expulsion from their areas of residence to other lands, unless this is in their interest in order to avoid the dangers of armed conflict. According to articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute, "unlawful deportation or transfer" constitutes a war crime. For those reasons, the occupying authorities bear full responsibility for the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the displacement of the Palestinian population and the worsening humanitarian situation in the Jerusalem governorate.

ICHR calls upon the international community to provide international protection to the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, to put into action its legal and moral responsibilities under the agreements to which it is a party, and to provide effective intervention  in order to stop the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinians and the demolition of their homes and properties. As well as, to place pressure on the occupying Power to stop its large-scale demolition plans in the Wadi Al-Homs neighborhood as well as to ensure the right to adequate housing for the Palestinian people in occupied Jerusalem and ensure that their needs are in line with their obligations as an occupying Power.

ICHR would also like to call upon the Palestinian Government to take urgent action at the international level to address the States, United Nations organizations and international institutions, especially the International Criminal Court and the UN Human Rights Council, in order to take a decisive and serious stance in reference to the violations of the principles of the international humanitarian law as well as provide necessary support for the affected citizens.