This week, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), David Price (D-NC), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) led 50 House Democrats in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the State Department to call on Israel to immediately freeze all demolitions in the Palestinian village Al-Walaja.
The expulsion of nearly 300 Palestinian men, women and children from their homes would not only be morally wrong but would also undermine prospects for peace, contributing to a larger Israeli effort to shift the demographics of Jerusalem as a way to prevent Palestinian claims to a capital in East Jerusalem, a key element of a negotiated two-state solution.
Al-Walaja is over the Green Line, just west of Bethlehem. Like too many other Palestinian villages, Al-Walaja has been denied a zoning plan since 1967 –resulting in the inability of residents to obtain construction permits. Now the homes of 38 families are at risk, and, while legal appeals have delayed the execution of the demolition orders for these homes the appeals are scheduled to go before the Israeli Supreme Court on March 30, 2022.
It is urgent that the United States act now to help prevent the demolition of 38 homes and the subsequent expulsion of approximately 300 people by calling on Israel to immediately freeze all demolitions in Al-Walaja. Americans for Peace Now is proud to support this important letter and thanks Congresswoman Schakowsky for her leadership.
Americans for Peace Now’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind issued the following statement in support of the
“The United States supports a two-state solution and opposes unilateral actions that hinder that goal. Mass evictions and demolitions in Jerusalem are immoral, undermine future peace and contribute to the kind of volatility that led to the outbreak of violence last May. It is vital that Israel freeze all demolitions in Al-Walaja. We are grateful to Congresswoman Schakowsky and the 49 other signatories for their bold leadership against this step. I hope the Biden Administration will use every diplomatic tool to prevent the demolitions in al-Walaja.”