Moral Low Ground


Ethnic Cleansing: Israel Destroys 4 Homes Housing 40 Palestinians in Occupied West Bank

An Israeli bulldozer destroying Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Michael Loadenthal)

An Israeli bulldozer destroying Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Michael Loadenthal)

Israeli bulldozers demolished four Palestinian homes housing 40 people in an area of the illegally occupied West Bank that, even under Israeli rules, is supposed to be under Palestinian control.

AFP reports the destroyed homes were located in the Jordan Valley just north of Jericho. The Palestinian governor of Jericho and the family which owns the demolished homes said they were located in what is known as ‘Area A’ of the occupied West Bank, a zone in which Palestinians supposedly have full civil and security control.

“This is a classified as Area A and we are alarmed by and strongly condemn the measures taken by the occupation authorities,” Jericho Mayor Majid al-Feytani told AFP.

Mohammed al-Zaid, the 66-year-old father of the men who own the demolished homes, confirmed that they were located in ‘Area A.’

“My sons and I built in this area with the consent of the Israelis through plans presented to them by the Palestinian liaison,” al-Zaid said.

“I do not know why the occupation’s bulldozers demolished the houses, where more than 40 people live — my sons and grandchildren,” he added.

According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, the homes were built illegally without permits, even if they were built in ‘Area A.’ Palestinians find this assertion absurd, as nearly all of Israel was built on land which was formerly Palestinian territory.

Zionists believe that Jews have a legitimate claim to all of Palestine despite the fact that they made up less than 10 percent of the territory’s population there from ancient times until well into the 20th century.

In reasserting their claims to their ancient homeland, Zionist colonists from Europe, many of them fleeing anti-Semitic pogroms and, later, the horrors of Hitler’s Holocaust, carried out their own campaign of terrorism and ethnic cleansing during which more than 700,000 Arabs were expelled from Palestine in 1948-49, with another 200,000 forced out after Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights in a 1967 war.

That occupation is illegal under international law, although Israel continuously ignores UN resolutions calling on it to end its 45-year occupation.

Last week, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, who lives in Jericho, accused Israel of trying to expel Palestinians from the Jordan Valley in an attempt to further derail the moribund ‘peace process’ being brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Erakat claimed that Israel had “a systematic plan for destroying Kerry’s efforts which involves an escalation of settlement building, a displacement of the population of the Jordan Valley, an increase of settler attacks against our people and confiscation of our land.”

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