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Support Human Rights Defender Dr. Meir Margalit

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To the Minister of Internal Affairs, We, the undersigned, are citizens of various countries committed to the support and defense of human rights, justice and fundamental freedoms. We are writing to express our utmost support and solidarity with Dr. Meir Margalit, an elected official of the City Council of Jerusalem and a human rights defender in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Since his election as the Municipal Councilor in Jerusalem, many attempts have been made to silence Dr. Margalit’s voice and to curtail his actions, consequently impeding his legitimate and legal right to participate in actions pertaining to protecting and promoting human rights. As a human rights defender, Dr. Meir Margalit has been active in East Jerusalem for over two decades working both with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and as an elected member of the Jerusalem City Council, promoting building and planning rights of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Throughout the years, the policy of the Jerusalem municipality has been to restrict Palestinians from building in East Jerusalem while Jewish settlements continue to grow. As a consequence, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are left with no choice but to build their homes illegally and thereby thousands of their houses are under the constant threat of demolition. Dr. Margalit has not only been active on the political front in an effort to change these discriminatory building policies, but has also supported the rebuilding of dozens of homes that were demolished due to these policies that violate human rights. He has done his work publicly and made it possible, with others, to rebuild 200 houses in the past 15 years. As of late, the Israeli Ministry of Interior has began legal proceedings against Dr. Margalit under the auspice of building illegally. We hereby express our respect and admiration for Dr. Meir Margalit's longstanding work in the defense of human rights for all residents of Jerusalem and for working to ensure basic rights to shelter and security. Therefore, we petition the Ministry of Interior to stop the legal proceedings against Dr. Margalit so he is able to continue his civic work, his pursuit for human rights for all and against house demolitions, and struggle for justice in the region. Sincerely


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