In the early hours of Monday morning, hundreds of Israeli soldiers stormed the Palestinian area Wadi Hummus, in the Sur Baher neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, and began bulldozing residential homes. As scores of families woke up to find themselves homeless this week, PSC calls on the UK to end its complicity in Israeli war crimes.

PSC Director Ben Jamal said:

“Home demolitions in Jerusalem and the West Bank are being used to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land and change the demography of the occupied territories. Each demolition enables Israel to steal more land and expand its illegal settlements. We have a legal and moral duty in the UK to stop facilitating Israel’s land thefts. In addition, these actions further highlight the need to implement a complete ban on trade with settlements to ensure these illegal acts have a real cost.”

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The latest demolitions in Sur Baher are taking place under the pretext of Israeli “security”, with the homes being located on Palestinian land close to Israel’s apartheid wall. 85% of the apartheid wall is located on occupied Palestinian territory, and used by Israel to grab more land from Palestinians. It was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.

Sur Baher is the first example of Israel demolishing buildings under control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Areas A and B, setting a worrying precedent and putting other villages at risk. International organisations have been quick to call for urgent action, with Amnesty International issuing a statement that:

“Israel must immediately end its cruel and discriminatory policy of home demolitions and forced displacement. Instead of destroying families’ homes Israel must dismantle parts of the fence/wall built inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including in parts of Sur Baher, in violation of international law.”

No person should go through the traumatic experience of having their home pulled down for political reasons, but this is a familiar story for Palestinians. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel has destroyed 126 structures in East Jerusalem – displacing 203 people – in the short time between the 2nd January and 17th July 2019 alone.

We can make a difference!

Home demolitions are used by Israel to facilitate population transfer; ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their land to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. As well as calling on our government to implement a complete ban on trade with settlements, we can target the corporations guilty of enabling Israeli crimes.

No company should be supplying Israel with equipment to carry out its oppressive policies. Caterpillar provides the Israeli military with bulldozers, which are weaponised and used to demolish Palestinian communities, homes, schools and civil infrastructure. The same bulldozers are then used in the construction of Israel’s illegal settlements and apartheid wall. This is despite their stated policy to “avoid those who violate the law or fail to comply with the sound business practices we promote.”

Join us in calling on HSBC to ditch its £100 million worth of shares invested in Caterpillar until they cease being involved with the destruction of Palestinian homes.