A woman stands on the ruins of her house, after it was demolished by Israeli authorities in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, July 19, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
US Congressman Mark Pocan led a letter of 40 Democrats to Secretary of State Mark Pompeo, urging him to communicate with the Israeli government immediately to condemn the demolitions of 76 structures in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Homsa al-Baquia (Khierbet Humsah), in the Jordan Valley, and to secure a commitment ending future displacement efforts.
“We write to express our grave concern about the Israeli government’s recent demolitions in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Homsa al-Baquia (Khierbet Humsah) in the Jordan Valley”, stated the letter. “These acts are a serious violation of international law that destroyed homes and displaced 73 people, including 41 children.”
“We urge you to communicate with the Israeli government immediately to condemn the demolitions and to secure a commitment ending future displacement efforts”, said the Democrats.
“Creeping annexation cannot be a policy that the U.S. government supports if we wish to see peace in the region. This single act was the largest Israeli displacement of Palestinians in four years, behavior only made possible by continued silence from the American government”, they added.
“This is a grave humanitarian issue that demands your immediate attention and our collective condemnation. The need for engagement by the US government is particularly urgent due to the renewed threat of demolition against the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar and the possibility that several additional villages in the region of Masafer Yatta will be demolished”, the letter read.
In addition to requesting that the State Department condemn this violation of international law, the Democrats also expressed their wish to know if American-sourced military equipment was used in the recent Israeli government displacements of the Palestinian Bedouin community of Homsa al-Baquia (Khierbet Humsah).
This request echoes a prior request made by 64 Members of Congress on March 16th. “We called on you then, and continue to now, to work to prevent unlawful home demolitions and the forcible transfer of civilians everywhere in the world and prevent the use of U.S-origin equipment in this destructive practice.”
“The Administration’s silence to that Congressional letter, and Israel’s recent actions, is deafening”, stated the letter. “It is imperative that in your waning two months in office human rights violations, and violations of international law, continue to be forcefully rejected by the American government. It is the only way that a peaceful, comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be achieved.”