Stop Israel aid, Hague told

9 July 2014 - 10:00am
Press release

Illegal wall ‘fuels ethnic cleansing'

 

Foreign Secretary William Hague today faces accusations that Britain is allowing Israel to act with impunity and intensify its collective punishment measures against the Palestinian population.

The allegations come exactly 10 years after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Israel's construction of the Wall in the occupied West Bank is illegal under international law. In 2004, the ICJ ruled that Israel is legally obliged to dismantle the Wall and to pay reparations.

The ruling put the onus on third states not to recognise, aid or assist the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the Wall.

Rafeef Ziadah, senior campaigns officer at the anti-poverty charity War on Want, said: “Ten years on from the ICJ ruling, the British government continues business as usual with Israel. Diplomatic, military and economic ties continue unaffected, despite Israel's grave violations of Palestinian human rights.

“With no viable political process in sight, ongoing illegal settlement construction and a Wall that imprisons Palestinians and confiscates their land, we are escalating the pressure on the British government to stop supporting the status quo and put pressure on Israel to abide by international law.”

In East Jerusalem in particular, which has been the epicentre of recent demonstrations after the kidnapping and murder of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, the Wall has had a devastating effect.

War on Want works with Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem, challenging the Wall and home demolitions.

Nagham Yassin, a 20-year-old Palestinian student, who lives in the Shu'afat neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, said: “The Wall is not for security. It is about controlling Jerusalem.

“We cannot forget the Wall's part in stealing land for settlements. It is a colonial tool.

“Israel is ethnically cleansing Jerusalem, trying to force Palestinians to move to the West Bank.

“They don't give permits to Palestinians to build new homes in Jerusalem. So, when it is done without permits, because people need to build on their own lands, as families expand naturally, the Israelis demolish the home. These demolitions are happening somewhere almost every day.”

The Wall means that a journey to Birzeit university in Ramallah that should take Yassin only 30 minutes has now become a three-hour trek, amid the need to queue for long periods at the Qalandia checkpoint.

Hala Liddawieh, another 20-year-old student at the university, from Wadi al-Joz in Jerusalem, said: “Not long ago a male student from Birzeit was taken into a security room at Qalandia and severely beaten. He was covered in blood.”

War on Want is launching an online petition to Hague, an infographic detailing the ICJ decision and a short film with comedian Mark Thomas, who walked the length of the Wall on both sides.  


NOTE TO EDITORS

NEWS PEG: Wednesday, 9 July 2014  Ten years on since international court ruling that Israeli wall is illegal

•    Attached are photographs of Liddawieh at the Wall and Yassin at the Qalandia checkpoint. Credit: Rich Wiles.
•    The petition is at www.waronwant.org/Wall
•    The infographic is attached
•    The film with Mark Thomas is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnCrGD1H_ZI

CONTACT: War on Want media officer Paul Collins (+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

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