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Israel’s ‘counter-productive policy’ concerns Harrow West MP

After the European Parliament denounced Israel and warned that it would be committing a war crime if it demolished the West Bank Bedouin herding village of Khan al-Ahmar, Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas adds his voice.

Mr Thomas has shared deep concerns about proposals to demolish the Bedouin village that he acknowledged includes the community's school which serves around 170 children.

“I believe the Israeli government should halt these plans and ensure the demolition does not go ahead” says Mr Thomas in his email response.

He warned that “the demolition of this village would have a devastating impact, not just on that community, but on the peace process. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal.

“The demolition of Palestinian homes to make way for more illegal settlements represents a real threat to the two-state solution as a way of ending the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict”.

Israel already has taken away 90% of Palestinian land and they continue to evict more civilians in a process to take over all the land.

Mr Thomas informed that according to the UN, 270 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished in Area C of the West Bank in 2017, displacing hundreds of Palestinians. The UN has also said that thousands of Palestinian children across the West Bank are at risk of being affected by the full or partial demolition of their school buildings – “these numbers are unacceptable”.

He added that the issue of demolitions is linked to the heavy restrictions on building permits for Palestinians, which make it very difficult to build legally within Area C of the West Bank.

“I believe the current building permit system is unsustainable and incompatible with the idea of a viable Palestinian state.

"The Government and the international community must continue to play an active role, placing pressure on the Israeli government by urging it to cease this counter-productive policy” he said. 02/10/2018