LONDON, Sept 21 (KUNA) -- The Quartet action is needed to keep Palestinian villages on the map, Amnesty International and other human rights groups urged Friday.
Demolitions have tripled in three years, with villages in Hebron Hills now under threat, the groups, including Amnesty International, said in a joint news release here.
The government of Israel's eviction and demolition plans for 13 Palestinian villages in the Hebron Hills come as demolition and displacement rates have hit a three-year high, adding to the uncertainty about the future for Palestinians living in the Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank, a group of 30 aid, development, and human rights organizations warned today.
The communities are targeted for demolition or expulsion from the area as the government of Israel plans to use the land for the expansion of an Israeli settlement and to create a closed military zone 2.
The organizations are calling on the Middle East Quartet, who will be meeting informally on Monday September 24 in New York, to visit the affected communities and address the violations that are happening on the ground, Amnesty and the other organizations added.
The agencies said the Quartet needs to move beyond words and deliver a concrete plan of action that keeps Palestinian families in their homes while working to ensure all parties are meeting their obligations under international law.
The Quartet's plan must, therefore, press the government of Israel to immediately reverse policies and practices that violate international human rights and humanitarian law and lead to forced evictions, forced displacement, and demolitions in Area C.
Meanwhile, Nishant Pandey, Country Director for Oxfam said: "The Quartet has issued 39 statements condemning the government of Israel's violations of international law, yet the number of people displaced by unlawful demolition of Palestinian homes continues to increase at an unprecedented rate.
Words have so far failed to bring meaningful change to people's lives and the Quartet must now show Palestinians and Israelis that it is committed to working towards a just, durable peace." The demolition and eviction plan for the Hebron Hills would leave 1,650 Palestinians homeless and without access to the land they need for farming and raising animals to feed their families.
Many of them are already living in substandard conditions because of Israeli restrictions on Palestinian building in Area C., Ann Harrison, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director for Amnesty International said.
The escalating demolitions in villages in the Hebron Hills has tripled in the past three years, with the average number of people displaced increasing 98 percent during this same time Sarah Leah Whitson Middle East director at Human Rights Watch Sarah Leah said.
She added that the Quartet should press the government of Israel to end these violations immediately. (end) he.nfm KUNA 211503 Sep 12NNNN