Israel is trying to ethnically cleanse over 1,000 Palestinians from Masafer Yatta, in the occupied West Bank, following a decades-long court case.
In early May 2022, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled in favour of the Israeli state’s claim that Palestinians in Masafer Yatta are living in a ‘firing zone’, reserved for the exclusive use of training activities for the Israeli military — despite the fact that these Palestinian villages predate Israel’s creation of ‘firing zones’ by decades.
Since the 1970s, Israel has continuously designated vast swathes of land in the West Bank as military ‘firing zones’, as a means to forcibly displace Palestinians and appropriate their land, in gross violation of international law.
For decades, Israel has tried to expel Palestinians from Masafer Yatta. Many families at risk today have already suffered displacement from the area, but have since returned to their ancestral land. The Palestinian families have lived through home demolitions, daily violence, and harassment from Israeli settlers and the Israeli military. Now, they once again face violent, forced displacement by Israeli armed forces.
Since the court ruling, Israel has declared it plans to build 4,000 illegal settler homes on land seized from Palestinians in the West Bank — including in Masafer Yatta. This is the biggest advancement of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in years, as Israel accelerates its ethnic cleansing of Palestinians with impunity.
Ethnic cleansing and settlement construction are war crimes, and are made possible by international complicity. We must stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and demand that the UK government stops facilitating Israeli apartheid and occupation: it must ban trade with illegal Israeli settlements and end its arms trade with Israel.