The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London delivered an oral statement as part of a panel discussion held with the special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Rights of Indigenous People.
“The Palestinian Wadi Yasoul neighbourhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem is under threat of Israeli colonisation, as over 80 Palestinian homes are facing Israeli demolition in order to make way for the enlargement of an Israeli national park in the area”, said PRC.
“There are over 600 Palestinians who are at immediate risk of being rendered homeless if an Israeli court rules in favour of the demolition”, added PRC. “Forced displacement, or unlawful transfer of civilians in occupied territory, violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and constitutes a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”.
PRC warned that if the Wadi Yasoul expropriation goes ahead, it would be the second largest forced displacement of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem since the 2019 forced displacement in the Wadi al-Hummus neighbourhood, when 10 residential buildings were demolished, making hundreds of Palestinians homeless.
PRC called on the members of the Human Rights Council to demand the state of Israel adhere to Article 8 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People’s which clearly states that state entities should provide effective mechanisms for the prevention of ‘any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing indigenous peoples of their lands, territories, or resources; and any form of population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights.’
Watch the statement here: