Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Record number of Palestinians displaced by demolitions as Quartet continues to talk

Amnesty International
13 December 2011

"Israeli authorities have stepped up unlawful demolitions in the West Bank including East Jerusalem over the past year, displacing a record number of Palestinian families from their homes, an international coalition of 20 leading aid agencies and human rights groups said today.

The statement comes as the Middle East Quartet meets in Jerusalem in its latest effort to revive peace talks.

The sharp rise in demolitions in 2011 has been accompanied by accelerated expansion of Israeli settlements and an escalation of violence perpetrated by settlers, the groups said.

The humanitarian and human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam International, are calling for the Quartet to hold all parties to the conflict to their international law obligations. The Quartet must, therefore, press the Israeli government to immediately reverse its settlement policies and freeze all demolitions that violate international law.

“The increasing rate of settlement expansion and house demolitions is pushing Palestinians to the brink, destroying their livelihoods and prospects for a just and durable peace. There is a growing disconnect between the Quartet talks and the situation on the ground. The Quartet needs to radically revise its approach and show that it can make a real difference to the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.” said Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director, Oxfam International......"

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