The European Union has criticized the Israeli regime over its plan to deport over 1,300 Palestinians from their hamlets near the city of al-Khali (Hebron) in the southern part of the occupied West Bank in favor of Israeli settlers.
The regime's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Palestinians' expulsion from the area, which is known as Masafer Yatta and comprises a collection of Palestinian hamlets. Taking the decision, the court rejected the Palestinians' arguments that they had lived there before.
Commenting on the ruling on Tuesday, an EU spokesman reminded in a statement that "settlement expansion, demolitions, and evictions are illegal under international law.”
“The EU condemns such possible plans and urges Israel to cease demolitions and evictions, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and international human rights law," the statement added.
Israel began attempts to expel the Palestinians in the early 1980s, prompting a legal battle by them that lasted for two decades. The campaign saw the regime declaring most of the area as "a closed military training zone," something that the Palestinian residents denounce as a "pretext for seizing their land.”
The EU statement said that "the establishment of a firing zone cannot be considered an 'imperative military reason' to transfer the population under occupation."
Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israeli settlers occupy over 250 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East al-Quds as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014, with the regime’s continued settlement expansion emerging as a key sticking point.
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