[action speaks louder than words] Israel must protect Palestinians, not displace them, says EU 

The village of Al-Fikheet in Masafer Yatta (AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  May 7, 2022

The European Union (EU) on Friday criticized the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling for evicting more than 1,300 Palestinians from Masafer Yatta, south of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron/Al-Khalil.

“Under international law, individual or mass forcible transfers and deportation of protected persons from occupied territories are prohibited, regardless of their motive,” the EU tweeted. “As the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to protect the Palestinian population and not displace it.”

On Wednesday, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the eviction and demolition of eight Palestinian villages in Masafer Yatta.

As a result of this decision, about 1,300 Palestinians in the area face the risk of imminent forcible transfer from their homes and the destruction of their communities.

Masafer Yatta residents and Israeli rights groups say that many of the Palestinian families living there have been permanently residing in the area since before the Israeli occupation of the area in 1967.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), along with Masafer Yatta residents, petitioned against the expulsion and said the verdict would have “unprecedented consequences”.

ACRI said in a statement: “The High Court has officially authorized leaving entire families, with their children and their elderly, without a roof over their heads.”