Israel's crimes

British MPs call to immediately ban UK trade with illegal Israeli settlements

England (QNN)- 42 members of UK Parliament have signed a motion condemning Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in Hamsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan Valley, calling their government to take action to prevent equipment supplied by British companies, including JCB, from operating in Israeli settlements.

Among the signatures are Ali Tahir, Jeremy Corbyn, Tommy Sheppard, Caroline Lucas, Zarah Sultana, and Olivia Blake.

The members said that they “strongly condemns Israel’s destruction of the entire Palestinian village of Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa.

“The House is appalled that 73 people, including 41 children, have been made homeless in the largest incident of forced displacement in the West Bank for years; notes that 2020 has seen the highest level of Palestinian home demolitions in four years, despite the covid-19 pandemic, which has left over 800 people homeless many of who are children,” the members said.

The members said they are alarmed that the UK-based construction equipment company, JCB, is being used in the demolitions of Paleatinian homes.

“The House is alarmed that JCB equipment is being supplied to Israeli forces for the destruction of Palestinian structures, and that the UN Human Rights Office has listed the British company as sustaining illegal settlements.”

On 28 February 2020, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights listed JCB on its database of companies with a “substantial and material” involvement in settlement activities, finding that “the violations of human rights associated with settlements are devastating and pervasive, reaching every facet of Palestinian life.”

The British members have called on the British Government to “immediately ban all UK trade with illegal Israeli settlements, and take action to prevent equipment supplied by British companies, including JCB, from operating in them.”

The Israeli occupation forces demolished Hamsa al-Bqaia community four times this month under the pretext that the area is designated for training and displaced its community with a plan to relocate them to another area.

On 3 November 2020, in the largest forced displacement incident recorded in recent years, 73 people, including 41 children were displaced. The structures demolished were residential, WASH and livestock related, of which 29 structures had been provided as humanitarian assistance.

On 1 February, Israeli occupation forces confiscated 25 structures in Hamsa al-Bqaia on the alleged basis that they lacked an Israeli building permit for construction in Area C.

On 3 February, Israeli occupation forces returned to seize a further 21 structures. Sixty Palestinians have been uprooted from their homes, including 35 children. Structures demolished included 21 homes, 17 livestock shelters, and 8 water and hygiene facilities.

On 8 February, the Israeli Civil Administration, accompanied by the military, returned to the Palestinian Bedouin community and confiscated or demolished another 16 residential and animal structures. Thirteen were donor-funded and had been provided as a humanitarian response to two incidents on 1 and 3 February.

On 16 February, the occupation forces confiscated five donor-funded livelihood tents, which were being assembled to provide shelter to the community and their livestock.

Since the start of 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities have demolished, seized or forced people to demolish at least 199 Palestinian-owned structures, including 77 donor-funded, displacing 285 people, including some 150 children. This represents an over 200 per cent increase in structures targeted, and an over 500 per cent increase in donor-funded structures targeted, compared to the equivalent period in 2020, according to The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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