A Malaysian Muslim group has lashed out at the United Nations for its double standards concerning Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank.
Mohammed Azmi Abdul Hamid, head of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations (MAPIM), voiced his criticism on Tuesday, a day after dozens of houses were razed by Israeli forces in the al-Muarrajat region in the east of Ramallah, leaving some 25 Palestinians, mostly children, homeless.
Abdul Hamid censured the UN Security Council for its failure to end forced eviction of Palestinians and said the Israeli aggression must be strongly opposed.
“The UN Security Council clearly holds double standards on this issue as it appears to be non-assertive in holding Israel accountable,” Abdul Hamid said in a statement.
He added that Israel’s practice of destroying Palestinian homes was an “act of illegal collective punishment and a direct violation of international human rights law.”
The MAPIM’s head also censured an Israeli plan to demolish Palestinian schools in addition to homes, saying the move was part of “Israel’s deliberate ploy to destroy the right to education for Palestinian children guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
“We demand that Palestinian homes and schools be protected by international agencies. Those that have been destroyed must be compensated by Israel,” he added.
The European Union had also called on Israel earlier to refrain from targeting Palestinian schools.
“The EU calls for the protection of children, including ensuring their right to education in a safe and secure school environment. Education is a basic human right that should be protected and maintained,” said Peter Santo, an EU spokesperson.
Israeli authorities usually demolish Palestinian homes in the West Bank, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.
They also sometimes order Palestinian owners to demolish their own homes or pay the demolition costs to the municipality if they do not.
Israel has already occupied thousands of dunums of Palestinian agricultural land to construct and expand new illegal settler units in various areas in the West Bank.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Emboldened by former US president Donald Trump’s all-out support, Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which has pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.