US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. (File photo via Palestine Chronicle)
Twelve members of the US Congress called on the administration of US President Joe Biden to oppose Israeli annexation of occupied Palestinian lands, to condemn Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes, and to officially rescind his predecessor’s Peace to Prosperity plan.
In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the members of Congress, led by Rashida Tlaib and Mark Pocan and who identified themselves as “advocates for the human rights of the Palestinian people”, called on the Biden Administration to ground its engagement on Palestine and Israel in international law and human rights and undo the damage done by the former administration under Donald Trump.
“We remain concerned about Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” said the letter, while calling for an investigation into the use of US equipment in the demolitions and if this violates US law.
“We believe the State Department should condemn Israel’s home demolitions in unequivocal terms and take effective and timely diplomatic action to end this policy.”
The letter also said that while they were “greatly heartened that the Biden Administration is opposed to Israeli annexation; however, Israel’s ongoing colonization of the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, alongside its demolition of Palestinian homes, is a form of going, de facto annexation which needs to be unequivocally opposed by the United States. The message from this Administration must be clear: settler colonialism in any form – including Israel’s settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank – is illegal under international law and will not be tolerated.”
The US lawmakers called on the Biden Administration “to officially rescind the Trump Administration’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan, which would enable Israel to unilaterally annex 30 percent of the West Bank outside the framework of negotiations. We believe that the Biden Administration should officially take this plan off the table and make clear to Israel and the Palestinian people that no part of it will constitute the basis for any future US-backed plan.”
They also said that “the State Department should publically call on Israel to fulfill its legal obligations to provide vaccines to all Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.”