Earlier this month we heard the news that Israel’s new coalition government has announced that, from as early as July 1st, it will legislate to formally annexe parts of the occupied West Bank, including the Jordan Valley. This has immense implications for the Palestinian people. Annexation, as well as being illegal under international law, threatens the livelihoods, hopes and daily lives of thousands of Palestinian families who are already experiencing severe restrictions under Israeli occupation since 1967. Despite international condemnation, Israel continues to pursue its annexation agenda with support from the United States. At the same time, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, partners on the ground tell us that Israel has increased its policies of home demolitions, closures, arrests, child detention and settler violence. This is not the first time Israel has used an opportunity such as this, when the world’s attention has been diverted elsewhere, to further entrench their illegal control over the lands and lives of Palestinians. This is not only illegal but immoral.
Last week over 140 MPs wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on him to place sanctions on Israel should it proceed with annexation plans. This falls in line with the expectation of states to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law and follows the precedent set by the EU when Russia annexed Crimea.
We are asking members and associates to please write to their MPs asking them to sign the letter to Boris Johnson and to join the call for sanctions against Israel should it proceed with annexation. Further information and links for taking action can be found here on the Sabeel-Kairos website:
– Warren Bardsley, on behalf of the Iona Community’s Common Concern Network on Israel Palestine
Warren Bardsley has served as a human rights observer in Jerusalem and the West Bank with the WCC Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme, and has written three books on the Palestinian struggle for justice and human rights. He is one of the founder members of the Kairos Britain movement.
Photo from the Sabeel-Kairos, website ©