The following disturbing report published by Gulf News on 6 September brings attention to the escalation in the demolition of Palestinian homes in Hebron by the Israeli government and that this causing unrest within sections of the Israeli community
Israeli rights group B’Tselem has sent a grave letter to Israel’s prime minister, the defense minister, the chief of staff and the head of the Civil Administration, cautioning that demolition of the Palestinian communities of Susiya and Khan Al Ahmar as planned would constitute a war crime for which they would bear personal liability.
B’Tselem made the unusual move after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the press last week that the defense ministry was “preparing for the evacuation of Palestinian communities built without authorisation” and that work was being done to implement plans to evacuate the Palestinian villages of Sussia in the South Hebron Hills and Khan Al Ahmar near the Jewish colony of Ma’aleh Adumim within a few months.
The demolition of entire communities in the Occupied Territories is virtually unprecedented since 1967.
In its letter, B’Tselem warned that under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which Israel is obliged to respect in all its actions in the West Bank, forcible transfer of protected persons inside the occupied territory is prohibited and constitutes a war crime.
The organisation emphasised that the prohibition on forcible transfer of protected persons is not limited to transfer by physical force, but applies also to “departure due to impossible living conditions created by the authorities – through, for instance, demolishing homes or disconnecting them from electricity and running water.
Hebron, in the southern West bank, is home to around 200,000 Palestinians, with about 800 colonists living under Israeli army protection in several heavily fortified compounds in the heart of the city.
The awkward set up has suffocated Palestinian residents who say they are put under strict curfews and complain that the colonies have severely impeded their freedom of movement.
As a result, many clashes have erupted after Jewish colonists have systematically incited the