UK Minister for the Middle East James Cleverly (Photo: Reuters)
Following the demolition of Palestinian structures by Israeli forces in Humsa Al- Baqai’a, the UK Minister for the Middle East James Cleverly expressed his deep concern over such an illegal measure.
“I am seriously concerned by the demolition of Humsa Al- Baqai’a, a Bedouin village in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, said Cleverly in a statement published on the official website of the UK Government.
The British minister said that this act caused unnecessary suffering to many vulnerable Palestinians, including 41 children, and may impact the community’s ability to withstand Covid-19. It is also detrimental to prospects for peace.
“2020 has seen the highest levels of demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures since 2016”, he said. “I call on the Government of Israel to cease this policy, and provide Palestinians with a clear, transparent route to construction in Area C of the West Bank.”
The UK Government statement said that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions such as these are a violation of International Humanitarian Law. This latest demolition by the Israeli Authorities destroyed the homes of 11 households comprising of 73 people, including 41 children.
The UK provides funding to the West Bank Protection Consortium, which is coordinating with the Palestinian Red Cross and the United Nations to provide emergency shelter to the community of Humsa Al-Baqai’a.
The UK also said that it continues to support Palestinians to stay on their land, including through: the West Bank Protection Consortium which provides essential infrastructure for vulnerable Palestinians in Area C, and funding legal aid which helps Palestinian communities challenge eviction and demolitions decisions in the Israeli legal system.