Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service
No 10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
15th May 2013
Dear Prime Minister
The ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages and towns during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 is well documented. Less publicly understood is that it continues today. Forced displacement is taking place in every area in which Israel has jurisdiction, not only in the occupied Palestinian territory, but within Israel itself.
The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah and the Displacement Working Group, a group of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, UN agencies and chaired by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs are seriously concerned about the demolitions on 23 and 24 April 2013 of 22 structures in 8 locations across the West Bank including East Jerusalem, displacing 28 people, including 18 children, and affecting 120 others, including 57 children.
Since 2008 more than 2400 Palestinian houses and structures have been demolished in Area C and East Jerusalem, displacing more than 4400 people.
UK Action needed
This month, major aid agencies have reminded that you must “hold Israel accountable for settlement expansion, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and forced transfer, all of which are violations of International Law.”
Given the UK’s status as a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Convention, it is time for the UK to consider the action it can take to challenge Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Palestinians, and bring peace and justice closer, including:
- Clear public statements in support of UN resolutions supporting self-determination and the right of return
- DfID should give as high a priority to development projects in Area C of the West Bank as to those in Areas A & B, to support communities who are at the sharp end of Israel’s settlement and demolition project, and to challenge Israel’s strategy of colonisation there. We note that the French Government, for example, has made very clear that Israeli Forces’ destruction of Palestinian structures in Area C, some of which were French funded, is unacceptable.
- Making strong and clear representation against Israeli laws which discriminate against Palestinians
- Action at the UN to end Israel’s violations of UN resolutions and the Geneva Convention
- Excluding goods from UK and European markets produced in settlements, which the UK government has repeatedly acknowledged are illegal acquisition of territory under occupation.
- A comprehensive two-way ban on all military equipment and Arms
I look forward to receiving your response to these issues raised.
Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign