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US News Israel: European diplomats come to support Palestinians threatened with deportation

01:48  20 october  2020
01:48  20 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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 Forest fires ravage parts of Syria and Lebanon © - Forest fires in the province of Latakia, October 10, 2020 in Syria Huge forest fires have started in Syria and Lebanon these last days, devouring vast wooded areas and sometimes approaching homes without the firefighting teams being able to fully tame them yet.

European envoys visit West Bank village in show of solidarity after Israeli court rules it can be demolished and its residents evicted.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli diplomats have put foreign leaders on notice that their country will consider its historic peace accords with the Palestinians null and void if they ask the United Nations for a state, according to a document obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Depuis vingt ans, les habitants de Khirbet Al-Majaz, dans le sud de la Cisjordanie, mènent une bataille judiciaire pour demeurer dans leur village. Israël a déclaré le périmètre «zone de tirs». © RFI / Guilhem Delteil For twenty years, the inhabitants of Khirbet Al-Majaz, in the south of the West Bank, have waged a legal battle to remain in their village . Israel declared the perimeter a “shooting zone”.

By Benjamin Netanyahu's own admission, the project to annex part of the West Bank is now "on hold". But on the ground, the peace process is still stuck. In the southern West Bank, nearly a thousand Palestinians could see their villages destroyed by Israel. On Monday, representatives of 18 countries and international organizations came to support them.

Along with our correspondent in Jerusalem, Guilhem Delteil

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The European Union assured President Mahmoud Abbas it supported his ambition to have East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state. European High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – Photo: Yves

Israel denies that its human rights obligations apply to Palestinians in the West Bank, except for East Jerusalem, which it considers part of Israel . Discriminatory practices also often violate Israel ’s obligations towards Palestinians under the law of occupation.

Khirbet Al-Majaz is one of the twelve Palestinian communities settled in the desert hills of the southern West Bank. The village consists of a few basic structures and a school funded by the European Union.

In front of the parterre of European diplomats come to support these Palestinians threatened with expulsion, Nidal Younes, president of the Council of the Palestinian local community, tells about the destruction - monthly, he assures - by the Israeli army. Of these 12 Palestinian communities, only four have been legalized by Israel. The others are threatened with destruction because they are in an area declared military.

European diplomats go around the community. An inhabitant welcomes them in the cave which serves as his home. The legal battle allowed the inhabitants to stay put but not to develop the villages. Israel's breach of its international obligations regrets the representative of the European Union, Sven Kühn von Bürgsdorff.

"The Israeli administration is doing nothing to ensure that these people can not only stay but also live in reasonable and healthy conditions," said the diplomat. On the contrary, it is orders of expulsion, orders of destruction, orders of confiscation that are issued. The opposite of what it should do under the 4th Geneva Convention.

After 20 years of legal battle, a final judgment from the Supreme Court is expected. But already, the countries represented on Monday are calling on Israel not to destroy these villages. The displacement of nearly 1,000 inhabitants would be contrary to international law and "would weaken the viability of the two-state solution", they say.

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