The United Church of Canada has a long history of working with others to seek peace with justice in Israel and Palestine. This work is rooted in the gospel mandate to be peacemakers and in response to the calls of Palestinian and Israeli partners.
The repeated demolitions of Bedouin Palestinian villages are a violation of international law. As the occupying power, Israel is bound by international humanitarian law to protect the Palestinian civilian population and administer the territory for their benefit. International law also prohibits the destruction of private property and the forced transfer or displacement of civilians.
According to Canadian policy, all Israeli settlements, including Ma’ale Adumim, are illegal. Demolitions and forcible displacement of Khan Al Ahmar and similar communities are a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and leave hundreds of people homeless.
Khan Al Ahmar was given only five days to object to the stop-work orders, and demolitions could occur at any point after. A court case, scheduled for February 23, 2017, could be the beginning of a much longer process.
For more information about current activities, see Unsettling Goods: Choose Peace in Palestine and Israel.
Write to your elected representatives, asking them to act urgently for the sake of justice for the people of Khan Al Ahmar.
Please use the template below to write to the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and/or your member of Parliament. You can find your MP’s e-mail or postal address by entering your postal code here. Remember to add your home address to your e-mail or letter. Amend the template below as you wish. Thank you for your support!
Dear Minister Freeland or [Name of your MP]:
I am writing to ask you to act urgently to stop the imminent and unprecedented demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan Al Ahmar in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that all 42 homes and businesses in Khan Al Ahmar were served with demolition orders on February 19, 2017. The villagers were informed they had only five days to object to the demolitions. Demolitions could take place at any point after that.
Demolitions and forcible displacement of Khan Al Ahmar and similar communities are a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and leave hundreds of people homeless. Article 46 of prohibits the destruction of personal property by an occupying power unless it is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. Article 49 prohibits all forcible transfers of civilian populations by an occupying power.
According to Haaretz, Israeli authorities have confirmed that this widespread issuance of demolition orders is unprecedented, and is a declaration of intention in advance of an attempt to evacuate the entire village.
[In the letter for your MP, insert the following sentence:]
As your constituent, I would ask that you call on Minister Freeland during question period to ask what actions Canada is taking to press the Israeli government to reverse the demolition orders on Khan Al Ahmar
Please take urgent action to stop this imminent violation of international law. I look forward to hearing your response.
The Conservative Party
New Democratic Party
Green Party of Canada
Program Coordinator, Public Witness and Advocacy
The United Church of Canada
Want to learn more about the United Church's engagement in the Israel Palestine Peace Process? Click here. Also check out the United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel.
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