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Intl. community lacks political will on Palestine: Activist

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Mahdiyah Hammad, a 38-year-old woman, who was shot dead by Israeli border guards after she allegedly tried to ram them with a car the day before, during her funeral in the occupied West Bank village of Silwad, northeast of Ramallah on December 26, 2015. (AFP Photo)

Press TV has carried out an interview with Tahseen Elayyan, with al-Haq Human Rights Organization in Ramallah, about the ongoing deadly violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and also on a recent report saying that Tel Aviv will soon demolish a home belonging to a Palestinian allegedly accused of carrying out an anti-Israeli attack in the West Bank.

What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Mr. Elayyan apart from all the numerous rights violations that the Israelis carry out against the Palestinians; certainly this is one that tops the list and that is the disproportionate demolition of Palestinian homes of those who are found guilty of carrying out anti-Israeli attacks. Give us your thoughts on this unjust practice.

Elayyan: In fact, a punitive house demolition is not a new practice by Israel. It is as old as occupation itself; it started in 1967 and it has been or it was condemned by international bodies, including the UN (United Nations). And since 1967 until now, we can say that thousands of houses of Palestinians have been demolished by Israeli occupying forces in spite of the fact that many parties in the international community condemn it.

Actually, in many of the cases we have not found that persons accused of attacks against Israelis or those who get their houses demolished have been found guilty by Israeli courts and even if they were found guilty, these courts are impartial.

Press TV: Mr. Elayyan, you mentioned international condemnation but the question is: Why are not any efforts being established to quell and to stop Israeli settlement expansion, home demolitions, and land grabbing taking place on occupied Palestinian territories?

Elayyan: Because there is no political will from the part of the international community and Israel is treated as if it is above the law. If there was a political will, Israeli perpetrators of crimes that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity should have been brought to justice long ago. If I want to speak about this year only, sixteen houses have been demolished punitively since the beginning of the year. Out of these houses, thirteen have been demolished since the beginning of October, obvious here. Apart of this type of demolition, we can speak about thousands or tens of thousands of Palestinian houses that are demolished under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Of these thousands of houses, over three hundred houses have been demolished, or structures not only houses, only this year. Condemnation is the only thing that we hear from the international community and the international community is not actually a neutral when it comes Palestinian-Israeli conflict. 

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