Israel’s forcible transfer of thousands of Palestinians has been denounced as a war crime by over 300 elected officials, legal scholars, academics, artists, faith leaders and activists from around the world.
The universal show of solidarity to the Palestinians was published in an open letter which voiced strong opposition to Israel’s plans to forcibly transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming-shepherding communities in the occupied West Bank.
Signatories include 90 members of parliament, many of whom are from the EU and UK parliaments. Other notable signatories include ten Israel Prize laureates, film director Ken Loach, artists Ai Weiwei, author Alice Walker, academic Noam Chomsky and several musicians. Dozens of Rabbis have also signed the letter denouncing Israel for what many would describe ethnic cleansing.
Forcible transfer – by direct physical force or by creating a coercive environment that makes residents leave their homes – is a war crime
the letter states.
Mentioning, in particular, residents facing expulsion from three areas; the Jordan Valley, the South Hebron Hills and East Jerusalem, the letter says that Israel “aims to establish facts on the ground that would achieve exclusive de-facto Israeli control in those areas and eventually facilitate formal annexation”.
“Israel’s plans,” the letter points out, “range from freezing Palestinian development, through minimising Palestinian foothold in major parts of the West Bank, to the destruction and transfer of entire communities.” The plans, they add, are being implemented through “coercive measures” which are listed as: not being allowed to build new private or public buildings; denied access to water grids or to pave access roads; demolitions; threats and confiscation of essential equipment