UN warns mass evictions of Palestinians a ‘war crime’

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Israeli police prevent a march against settlements in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron

The United Nations (UN) has warned that the Israeli regime’s forcible mass eviction of over 1,200 Palestinians from their homes in the Masafer Yatta area of the occupied West Bank amounts to a ‘war crime’.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Thursday evening that: ‘Evictions that lead to displacement, if enforced, amount to forced forcible deportation and a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and therefore constitute a war crime.
‘The international humanitarian law imposes an absolute prohibition on the forcible transfer of civilians from or within the occupied Palestinian territories, and that Israeli authorities must put an end to all coercive measures, including planned evictions, demolitions, and military training in it.
‘The constant eviction of Palestinians from their ancestral homes and Israel’s decades-long settlements expansion activities have changed realities on the ground, and are inconsistent with international humanitarian law and UN Security Council resolutions, which are legally binding.’
Masafer Yatta spans 22 miles and is comprised of 19 Palestinian villages that are home to more than 2,000 people.
According to the UN, the Israeli military designated part of the area a closed military zone for training in the 1980s, and ‘they have sought to remove the communities on this basis.
On May 4th, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected appeals by the residents of Masafer Yatta to prevent their eviction. The court’s ruling effectively ended two decades of legal battles by the residents who had fought to continue living on their land.
Israeli forces have reportedly already demolished structures in the Masafer Yatta communities of Khribet al-Fakhiet and al-Markez.
Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis occupy over 250 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014, with Israel’s continued settlement expansion emerging as a key sticking point.
All Israeli settlements are deemed illegal under international law as they are built on the occupied land.
The UN Security Council has time and again condemned the occupying regime’s diabolic settler-colonialism project in its umpteen resolutions.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has met publicly with the political chief of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement Ismail Haniyah for the first time in more than five years in Algeria, raising hopes for reconciliation talks between the two rival factions.
The meeting was held late on Tuesday in the Algerian capital of Algiers on the sidelines of the country’s 60th independence anniversary, with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in attendance.
Algerian and Palestinian media outlets on Friday published photos of the pair shaking hands at the meeting which was presided over by Tebboune.
Algerian state television also aired footage of the meeting, describing it as ‘historic’.
Tebboune said in a statement said that the encounter between the ‘Palestinian brothers’ Abbas and Haniyah came after years in which the two ‘did not sit at the same table together’.
The PA’s delegation included Majed Faraj, the head of the intelligence services, among other officials.
Haniyah and Abbas last met face-to-face in October 2016 in the Qatari capital of Doha, in the last efforts to reconcile Palestinian Hamas and Fatah resistance movements.
In the past few months, Algeria has hosted several Palestinian delegations in an attempt to revive intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
In December, Tebboune launched an initiative to end the rift between the rival Palestinian parties.
Since then, Palestinian delegations have reportedly been flying to Algeria regularly to prepare for a national conference ahead of an Arab League summit set to be hosted by Algeria in November.
Following the 2006 legislative elections, Fatah and Hamas formed a short-lived national unity government.
A year after Hamas defeated Fatah in the parliamentary polls, the latter was driven out of the Gaza Strip as it attempted to replace the Hamas-led government, which resulted in several weeks of fighting.
Hamas has been the de-facto ruler in the besieged coastal enclave since 2007, while Fatah has been in power in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Many efforts have failed to end the rift between the two Palestinian factions.
Abbas called Palestinian legislative elections for May 2021, but he nixed it just weeks ahead of the polls, blaming Israel for not promising to allow residents of the occupied East Jerusalem to vote.
At the time, Hamas was highly critical of Abbas’s decision to cancel last year’s scheduled vote, saying the move was ‘a coup against the path of partnership and national consensus’.

  • The Israeli military has launched an unannounced exercise simulating a ground attack scenario in the Gaza Strip, as the regime keeps up its atrocities against Palestinians.

An Israeli television channel revealed that the regime’s military carried out a surprise drill in a base near the Negev region to practise for an incursion into the Gaza Strip, it was reported in the Palestinian media late on Thursday.
According to the reports, Israeli soldiers were summoned without prior notice and took part in the training exercise, claiming that the war in Gaza may break unexpectedly and abruptly.
Jasem al-Barghouti, a West Bank-based official with Hamas, cited the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Palestinian Rafiq Riyad Ghanam near Jenin on Wednesday, saying that Israel has left Palestinians no option other than ‘Intifada’, an Arabic word meaning rising up against Israeli aggression.
He said: ‘The occupying Zionist regime is pressing ahead with its murders and Rafiq Ghanam’s martyrdom is sounding the alarms.
‘We have no choice but to start another Intifada and an overwhelming revolution to set the scene to guarantee the destruction of the settlements, banishment of the occupiers and protection of the Palestinian land and the people.’
Palestinian resistance groups and activists have frequently warned that Israel’s practices and settler ‘assaults’ against Palestinians in the West Bank will lead to a new Intifada.
The first Palestinian Intifada started in Gaza in 1987 and lasted six years.
Israeli suppression of the Intifada left 1,500 Palestinians dead and tens of thousands injured.
The second Intifada, also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada, began on September 28th, 2000, when the Israeli regime stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque with thousands of troops deployed in and around the Old City of Jerusalem.
Last May, Israel waged war on Gaza, but it was faced with a strong reaction from the Gaza-based resistance groups, particularly Hamas, which launched thousands of rockets into the Israeli-occupied territories in response.
The war, also known as Operation al-Quds (Jerusalem) Sword, only lasted for 11 days.
Overwhelmed by the significantly developed military capabilities of Palestinian resistance factions, the Israeli regime was forced to announce a unilateral ceasefire.
endsThe United Nations (UN) has warned that the Israeli regime’s forcible mass eviction of over 1,200 Palestinians from their homes in the Masafer Yatta area of the occupied West Bank amounts to a ‘war crime’.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Thursday evening that: ‘Evictions that lead to displacement, if enforced, amount to forced forcible deportation and a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and therefore constitute a war crime.
‘The international humanitarian law imposes an absolute prohibition on the forcible transfer of civilians from or within the occupied Palestinian territories, and that Israeli authorities must put an end to all coercive measures, including planned evictions, demolitions, and military training in it.
‘The constant eviction of Palestinians from their ancestral homes and Israel’s decades-long settlements expansion activities have changed realities on the ground, and are inconsistent with international humanitarian law and UN Security Council resolutions, which are legally binding.’
Masafer Yatta spans 22 miles and is comprised of 19 Palestinian villages that are home to more than 2,000 people.
According to the UN, the Israeli military designated part of the area a closed military zone for training in the 1980s, and ‘they have sought to remove the communities on this basis.
On May 4th, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected appeals by the residents of Masafer Yatta to prevent their eviction. The court’s ruling effectively ended two decades of legal battles by the residents who had fought to continue living on their land.
Israeli forces have reportedly already demolished structures in the Masafer Yatta communities of Khribet al-Fakhiet and al-Markez.
Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis occupy over 250 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014, with Israel’s continued settlement expansion emerging as a key sticking point.
All Israeli settlements are deemed illegal under international law as they are built on the occupied land.
The UN Security Council has time and again condemned the occupying regime’s diabolic settler-colonialism project in its umpteen resolutions.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has met publicly with the political chief of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement Ismail Haniyah for the first time in more than five years in Algeria, raising hopes for reconciliation talks between the two rival factions.
The meeting was held late on Tuesday in the Algerian capital of Algiers on the sidelines of the country’s 60th independence anniversary, with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in attendance.
Algerian and Palestinian media outlets on Friday published photos of the pair shaking hands at the meeting which was presided over by Tebboune.
Algerian state television also aired footage of the meeting, describing it as ‘historic’.
Tebboune said in a statement said that the encounter between the ‘Palestinian brothers’ Abbas and Haniyah came after years in which the two ‘did not sit at the same table together’.
The PA’s delegation included Majed Faraj, the head of the intelligence services, among other officials.
Haniyah and Abbas last met face-to-face in October 2016 in the Qatari capital of Doha, in the last efforts to reconcile Palestinian Hamas and Fatah resistance movements.
In the past few months, Algeria has hosted several Palestinian delegations in an attempt to revive intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
In December, Tebboune launched an initiative to end the rift between the rival Palestinian parties.
Since then, Palestinian delegations have reportedly been flying to Algeria regularly to prepare for a national conference ahead of an Arab League summit set to be hosted by Algeria in November.
Following the 2006 legislative elections, Fatah and Hamas formed a short-lived national unity government.
A year after Hamas defeated Fatah in the parliamentary polls, the latter was driven out of the Gaza Strip as it attempted to replace the Hamas-led government, which resulted in several weeks of fighting.
Hamas has been the de-facto ruler in the besieged coastal enclave since 2007, while Fatah has been in power in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Many efforts have failed to end the rift between the two Palestinian factions.
Abbas called Palestinian legislative elections for May 2021, but he nixed it just weeks ahead of the polls, blaming Israel for not promising to allow residents of the occupied East Jerusalem to vote.
At the time, Hamas was highly critical of Abbas’s decision to cancel last year’s scheduled vote, saying the move was ‘a coup against the path of partnership and national consensus’.

  • The Israeli military has launched an unannounced exercise simulating a ground attack scenario in the Gaza Strip, as the regime keeps up its atrocities against Palestinians.

An Israeli television channel revealed that the regime’s military carried out a surprise drill in a base near the Negev region to practise for an incursion into the Gaza Strip, it was reported in the Palestinian media late on Thursday.
According to the reports, Israeli soldiers were summoned without prior notice and took part in the training exercise, claiming that the war in Gaza may break unexpectedly and abruptly.
Jasem al-Barghouti, a West Bank-based official with Hamas, cited the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Palestinian Rafiq Riyad Ghanam near Jenin on Wednesday, saying that Israel has left Palestinians no option other than ‘Intifada’, an Arabic word meaning rising up against Israeli aggression.
He said: ‘The occupying Zionist regime is pressing ahead with its murders and Rafiq Ghanam’s martyrdom is sounding the alarms.
‘We have no choice but to start another Intifada and an overwhelming revolution to set the scene to guarantee the destruction of the settlements, banishment of the occupiers and protection of the Palestinian land and the people.’
Palestinian resistance groups and activists have frequently warned that Israel’s practices and settler ‘assaults’ against Palestinians in the West Bank will lead to a new Intifada.
The first Palestinian Intifada started in Gaza in 1987 and lasted six years.
Israeli suppression of the Intifada left 1,500 Palestinians dead and tens of thousands injured.
The second Intifada, also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada, began on September 28th, 2000, when the Israeli regime stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque with thousands of troops deployed in and around the Old City of Jerusalem.
Last May, Israel waged war on Gaza, but it was faced with a strong reaction from the Gaza-based resistance groups, particularly Hamas, which launched thousands of rockets into the Israeli-occupied territories in response.
The war, also known as Operation al-Quds (Jerusalem) Sword, only lasted for 11 days.
Overwhelmed by the significantly developed military capabilities of Palestinian resistance factions, the Israeli regime was forced to announce a unilateral ceasefire.