This appeal for urgent action has been issued by The United Church of Canada.
Please respond as you soon as you are able.
This short video from United Church solidarity partner B’Tselem, a human rights organization, shows Israel’s civil administration and police serving stop-work orders in this small village in the occupied West Bank on February 19. 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, could be the beginning of a much longer process.
The people of Khan Al Ahmar have lived as refugees for 50 years. Although the village is located 10 minutes from Jerusalem, its households have no running water and no electricity. Now Khan Al Ahmar, situated in an area earmarked for future expansion of the Israeli settlement Ma’ale Adumim, is targeted for demolition and its people for forcible transfer.
In the film Nowhere Left to Go, an elderly resident of Khan Al Ahmar states: “We have an empty life. We have no land, no home. And now they’re threatening to transfer us—what can we do?” In 2016, 12 dwellings in this same community were demolished with 60 residents left homeless (including 35 children).
Write to your elected representatives, asking them to act urgently for the sake of justice for the people of Khan Al Ahmar.
1. Write to The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and/or your member of Parliament:
- Ask Minister Freeland to urge Canada to call on the Israeli government to immediately freeze all settlement activity and demolition orders
- Urge your MP to 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
2. Share this Take Action on your social media networks. Use the hashtags #UCCan, #KhanAlAhmar, #Israel, #Palestine.
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.
Send your letters and e-mails to:
The Hon. Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Conservative Party of Canada
New Democratic Party
Green Party of Canada
Send copies of your letters and emails to:
Program Coordinator, Public Witness and Advocacy
The United Church of Canada