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Schakowsky and colleagues urge PM Netanyahu not to demolish Palestinian village

Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Chief Deputy Whip, along with Budget Committee Ranking Member Rep. John Yarmuth, led 74 of their colleagues on a letter urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya and other similarly situated Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

In their letter, the Members stated that “The destruction and displacement of such communities would run counter to shared US and Israeli values, while further undermining long-term Israeli security, Palestinian dignity, and the prospects for peacefully achieving two states for two people.”

As the Members explain in their letter, the village of Susya “sits on private Palestinian land in “Area C” of the West Bank and has existed in the South Hebron Hills since at least the 1830s.”It is home to more than 40 families, including more than 80 children, who have repeatedly sought building permits to construct homes and other structures on their land and have been denied consistently. In their letter, the Members explained how demolishing Susya and similar communities endangers Israel’s future, saying:

“The forcible eviction of Palestinian communities and the expansion of settlements in areas of the West Bank, which would become part of a future Palestinian state, abandon our two countries’ shared values of justice and respect for human rights. These actions unilaterally change facts on the ground and jeopardize the prospects of a two-state solution. This endangers Israel’s future as a Jewish democracy and prohibitively impacts Palestinian’s national aspirations.”

The Members closed their letter with the following message for Prime Minister Netanyahu:

“Instead of forcibly evicting Palestinian communities, we encourage your government to fairly re-evaluate their requests for building rights. We look forward to continuing to work with the Israeli government, the people of Israel, and all interested parties to support Israeli security and move toward achieving two states for two peoples.”

 

The full text of the letter is available here.

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