J Street is appalled by the Israeli government’s demolitions in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Homsa al-Baqia (Khirbet Humsah) in the Jordan Valley, a serious violation of international law that destroyed homes, solar panels and other structures and displaced 73 people, including over 40 children.
Even as plans for de jure unilateral annexation of the West Bank have been put on hold, the Netanyahu government continues to carry out acts of creeping annexation. The demolitions in this community, the largest displacement of Palestinians by Israel in four years, illustrate the grave humanitarian consequences for Palestinians of Israel’s drive to perpetuate its control over the occupied West Bank. Over the past four years, the Israeli government has been fully confident that they will receive nothing but support for their actions from the Trump administration.
Without clear transparency about how US security assistance to Israel is being used, it’s not known whether American-sourced military equipment was used to help carry out this displacement — which would be a violation of existing US law. The Trump administration has ignored a March 2020 letter to Secretary Pompeo, signed by 64 members of Congress, calling on him to “work to prevent unlawful home demolitions and the forcible transfer of civilians everywhere in the world and prevent the use of U.S.-origin equipment in this destructive practice,” and requesting an examination of Israeli compliance with the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act.
It is vital that the next administration and Congress take action to clearly condemn and push back on the occupation and these ongoing, destructive violations of international law and Palestinian rights, which also clearly and deliberately undermine the prospects for a peaceful, comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They must act to ensure that US security assistance is not and cannot be used to facilitate them.