The Housing and Land Rights Network of Habitat International Coalition stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people resisting institutionalize material discrimination and attempted erasure from their land and homes by the State of Israel. We hear their message: “No peace will prevail without justice.”
As we mark Nakba Day, the Israeli occupation government is once again carrying out collective punishment of the Palestinian people, targeting the civilian population without deterrence and in the absence of any accountability or punishment, but this time in response to widespread, unified Palestinian protests, including the launching of Hamas rockets of limited destruction, against the gross violations committed by the Israeli occupation government that continues to transfer and forcibly displace the people.
Since the creation of Israel in 1948, the system of apartheid, ongoing Nakba and population transfer practiced by the Israeli authorities against the indigenous Palestinian people as a whole, afflicts those who live either in the occupied Palestinian territory, inside Israel, or in the diaspora, who have suffered for so long from unlawfully dispossession of their lands and properties, and granting them to settlers, in violation of the rules of international humanitarian law, which amount to war crimes.
So far, the death toll from the brutal Israeli bombardment of civilian homes and spaces in the besieged Gaza Strip has reached 197 people, among them 60 children and 34 women, including entire extended families, in addition to the injury of over 1,000 people, and the displacement of more than 38,000 people seeking shelter after their homes are destroyed. In the West Bank, the death toll from the occupation army’s bullets has so far reached 11 victims. The Office for the UN Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also announced that 200 housing units were destroyed, and 250,000 people were left without access to clean drinking water, because the desalination plant stopped working as a result of the Israeli bombing.
The ongoing Israeli practices within the framework of the process of judaizing Jerusalem, with the eviction of 12 Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, led to the outbreak of widespread protests, and the development of the situation followed the expansion of violence to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. OCHA has reported, in a survey in 2020, that 218 Jerusalemite families, including the families of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, will be forcibly evicted from their homes due to the judicial eviction cases filed by settlement associations, which exposes 970 people, including 424 children, to the risk of homelessness.
The Habitat International Coalition works with its members, and its civil society partners, to oppose the grave violations of the Israeli occupation, whether in the occupied Palestinian territories or against Palestinians inside Israel, and bring the perpetrators to trial and be accountable before the International Criminal Court. The Coalition also calls on all states and governments within the framework of the United Nations to undertake their international obligations to hold the State of Israel accountable and stop its violations of the principles of international law and bring an end to the illegal situations, which include illegal settlement expansion, collective punishment of the residents of the Gaza Strip through destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, systematic and institutionalized forced evictions practices against Palestinian families, and the confiscation of their property.
The only future for the peoples of the region will be based on justice, not with Zionism.
HIC-HLRN issued this statement on 15 May 2021, and updated figures as of 17 May. Find updates on casualties at Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza).
Photo montage: (L) Palestinians, carrying possessions on their heads flee from a village in Galilee as Israeli forces expel them some five months after the proclamation of Israel, in 1948. Source: Reuters. (R) A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza, May 2021. Source: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.