[Sample letter for Israeli officials]
We are profoundly disturbed by news from Habitat International Coalition’s Housing and Land Right Network (HLRN) and local Palestinian organisations about the evictions, impending orders, and mass land expropriation against the residents of the occupied Palestinian territory.
The State of Israel and, by extension, its parastatal organizations, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and Jewish National Fund (JNF), bear the duty to uphold norms of applicable international humanitarian and human rights law as minimum guidelines for their treatment of the indigenous Palestinian civilian population, including refugees. The State has assumed these duties, including by way of its treaty ratifications and affirmations mentioned below. By extension, compliance with these rules also is required of private parties to avoid contributing to the situation that leads to certain violations.
The recent land expropriations and demolitions in the villages of Tubas, al-Hadidya, al-Aqaba, and al-Nu’man, simultaneously have produced the most-recent victims and are of international concern. In addition, the continuous violations against the Jahalin Bedouin, as a result of both the E1 plan, the Wall construction, and the new Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem highlight a particular need for attention from the Israeli government to ensure protection for this vulnerable group.
The practices violate the inhabitants’ human right to adequate housing; i.e., the right of all women, men and children to gain and sustain a secure place to live in peace and dignity. House demolitions represent a gross human rights violation and a violation of the international human rights and humanitarian norms, especially provisions regulating adequacy, nondiscrimination and military necessity. It is worth noting that the IOF generally do not inform the inhabitants in advance of demolition, and do not allow or give them a chance to salvage possessions or furniture. Of course, the Israeli occpuation forces (IOF) do not provide alternative housing or compensation either. As such, the IOF especially violate the peoples’ entitlements to security of tenure; livelihood; freedom from dispossession; participation and self-expression; physical security; and adequate compensation for violations and losses. All are elements of the human right to adequate housing as recognized in international law. It should be noticed here that