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PRESSURE ISRAEL TO STOP JERUSALEM HOME DEMOLITIONS

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PRESSURE ISRAEL TO STOP JERUSALEM HOME DEMOLITIONS This month, Israel has begun to make good on its plan to demolish at least 88 homes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem, uprooting and making homeless more than 1,000 Palestinians to make a park in front of the Weeping Wall. If the municipality carries out its plan to demolish the houses in the neighborhood, it would be the most massive demolition action since the demolition of the Mugrabi section of the Old City, in 1967, to build the expanse in front of the Western Wall, according to the Israeli human rights group B’TSELEM. American Muslims for Palestine is heartened by the recent comments Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made in Israel, which called into question Israel’s policy of destroying the abodes of entire families. Not only are the demolitions an obstruction to peace, they are inhumane and in violation of international law as set forth by the Fourth Geneva Convention. Article 53 of the Convention reads: “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons…is prohibited." Under this provision the practice of demolishing Palestinian houses is banned, as is the wholesale destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure. Furthermore, the actions deprive Palestinians of their right to housing and an adequate standard of living as defined under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It is clear that destroying the homes of Palestinians in the Silwan neighborhood is illegal under international law. It is also inhumane and cruel, as the actions will render homeless more than 2,000 Palestinians, who will find no space for themselves in overcrowded East Jerusalem. In effect, the demolitions are an act of ethnically cleansing the area of Palestinians, both Muslim and Christian. The Silwan demolitions are just a part of an organized effort that has seen the razing of more than 18,000 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem, since 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. That Israel is on a path of ethnic cleansing is evident in the fact 300 homes in East Jerusalem alone were destroyed during the seven years of the Oslo negotiations. As American citizens who believe that the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness extend to all human beings, we ask you to recognize that being forced from their homes denies the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem these most basic of human rights. We also ask you to continue to pressure Israeli officials to stop demolition of these homes. And we ask you to demand Israel immediately cease plans to demolish the homes in Silwan and elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza. American Muslims for Palestine

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American Muslims for Palestine

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