Call to Action – Help Stop House Demolitions in Al-Walaja

The Old City of Jerusalem, including the Dome of the Rock and various church steeples, seen through coils of razor wire, illustrating the Holy Land's history of division and conflict.

Ameinu is calling on you today to help preserve the future of a secure, democratic Israel alongside a viable, independent Palestinian state. Over the past few years there have been multiple examples of Israeli authorities expelling Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and other Jerusalem neighborhoods. We need your active support to stop this latest attempt to change the demographics of Jerusalem and to undermine the future of a negotiated two-state solution.

Al-Walaja is over the Green Line, just west of Bethlehem. In the 1948 war, the villagers of al-Walaja were uprooted, and in the early 1950s Israel demolished its homes. Al-Walaja lost approximately 70% of its land. Beginning in 1949, some of the displaced villagers resettled on the remaining 30% of their land which was then on the Jordanian side of the border, rebuilding the village and starting their lives over. Recently a large area of Al-Walaja’s agricultural lands were turned into a National Park by Israeli authorities even though there are no conflicting ownership claims to these homes.

Like too many other Palestinian villages, Al-Walaja has been denied a zoning plan since 1967 -– as a result, its residents are unable to obtain zoning permits. Now the homes of 38 families are at risk, and, while legal appeals have delayed the execution of the demolition orders for these homes, the case is scheduled to go before the Israeli Supreme Court on March 30, 2022.

We must act now to help prevent the demolition of 38 homes and the subsequent expulsion of approximately 300 people.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL), Rep. David Price (NC), Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD) and Rep. John Yarmouth (KY) have co-authored a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken asking the State Department to contact Israeli authorities to “immediately halt demolitions in Al-Walaja and ensure that the planning authorities are working with the Palestinian residents to advance an equitable development plan that will formally authorize existing homes, provide for adequate municipal services, and allow for residential and other necessary development of the village.”

Ameinu is partnering with our colleagues at Americans for Peace Now and an independent group of activists to build Congressional support for this effort. Click here to ask your Member of Congress to urge the State Department to call on Israel to immediately freeze all demolitions in Al-Walaja.

Thank you,

 

Brad Rothschild

Chair, Ameinu Policy and Advocacy Committee

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