EU Diplomatic Delegation visits Beir Ona – Beit Jala

Posted on Aug 30, 2015

Building the annexation wall in their lands might lead the landowners to emmigrate from their homeland and contribute to the ethnic cleansing of Christian from the region.

(Society of St. Yves) August 28, 2015 – An EU diplomatic delegation visited Beir Ona in Beit-Jala, on Tuesday the 25th of August 2015, to assess the situation of the area after the Israeli army started working on the agricultural lands in preparation for constructing the annexation wall in Cremisan.

The Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights in its capacity as representative of the Salesian Convent briefed the visiting delegation on the latest developments of the Cremisan case, including its most recent petition submitted on July 30th and the Israeli army’s response to it, which rejected the content of the petition and claimed it was an attempt to re-open already closed files, meaning the petitions submitted earlier in July by the Municipality of Beit-Jala and the landowners.

Mr. Xavier Abu Eid, Adviser to the Negotiations Support Unit at the PLO, addressed the EU delegation thanking them for their support of the Cremisan case and their intensive follow-up of the situation. He then briefed the delegates on the Israeli occupation’s recent works in the region; bulldozing and uprooting trees, and he urged the delegation to take effective measures to hold Israel accountable for its continuous violations of International law. Mr. Abu Eid called on the EU to assume their international responsibility to stop the construction of the annexation wall, which is illegal under international law.

Owners of bulldozed lands addressed the diplomatic delegation and made their testimonies on the damage caused by the army’s recent work in their lands; from the uprooting of their olive trees which date back to 2000 years, to the destruction of their agricultural lands, which are the main source of their income and livelihood. The landowners asked the diplomatic delegation to pressure Israel to halt the construction of the wall in the region and save their lands.

It is noteworthy to mention that if the annexation wall is constructed according the plans of the Israeli army, it will isolate 3500 dunums from the lands of Beit-Jala and confiscate the lands of 58 Palestinian Christian families. Building the annexation wall in their lands might lead the landowners to emmigrate from their homeland and contribute to the ethnic cleansing of Christian from the region.