It is abundantly clear that the UK must take action to stop Israeli war crimes in occupied East Jerusalem. I am urging political action to be taken by the Government, and other members of the international community, to stop the forced eviction, displacement and dispossession of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, occupied East Jerusalem.
The government is well aware that the forcible transfer of an occupied population constitutes a war crime under international law. The international community continues to condemn such violations, including Israel’s illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, forcible transfer of Palestinian populations and settlement expansions, yet little or no action is ever taken.
There is certainly scope for political action – including from the UK, because in spite of Israeli excuses, this is not simply about a private civil dispute between two parties, it is grounded in discriminatory Israeli law.
It is therefore so vital that political pressure and action intensifies, because the families will not obtain justice under a discriminatory system that is stacked against them and in the favour of illegal Israeli settlers wishing to take over their homes.
I am making a clear political demand for a moratorium on evictions for Palestinians based on discriminatory law and that Israel stops applying such discriminatory laws . Also, the international community should be calling for the return of homes that have already been taken as well as demanding accountability for the actions of Israeli officials.
Finally, I wanted to reference the distressing scenes of Israeli police brutality, which has frequently been deployed against these families and their supporters whilst holding vigils and protests to protect their homes, and stand in support and solidarity with them as they seek justice and accountability.
The UK government and the rest of the international community should condemn in absolute terms, the ways in which knees were placed on the necks of members of the Sheikh Jarrah families and other Palestinians, the use of batons, tear gas and skunk spray, and other forms of police violence used on those trying to save their community from forced eviction and dispossession.