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First Palestinian-American congresswoman says US must stop funding Israeli apartheid regime

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has called on Washington to stop its support for the apartheid Israeli regime, amid rising tensions across the occupied territories.

The first Palestinian-American woman ever elected to the chamber made the remarks in a post on Twitter, stressing, “Congress must stop funding apartheid.”

She further noted that 2022 was one of the deadliest years for Palestinians, adding that Israeli forces and settlers killed more than 200 Palestinians, including more than 50 children, last year.

Tlaib further took aim at Israel's new far-right cabinet for its plans to forcibly displace over 1,000 Palestinians in the Masafer Yatta region of the southern occupied West Bank.

 “Just days after the new Israeli regime is sworn in, families in Masafer Yatta are already facing more ethnic cleansing,” she said.

“The Israeli military’s ongoing expulsion of Masafer Yatta residents will now be accelerated at an even faster rate. Don’t look away. Save Masafer Yatta,” the congresswoman added.

“Even one week into 2023, the new right-wing apartheid regime is moving to ethnically cleanse entire communities, which will displace over 1,000 Palestinians, including 500 children,” she said.

The Israeli army has reportedly informed Palestinian officials of their imminent plans to forcibly displace more than 1,000 Palestinian residents, including some 500 children, in the Masafer Yatta area of the southern occupied West Bank.

Home to some 2,500 Palestinians, Masafer Yatta falls in the 60 percent of the occupied West Bank designated as “Area C”, which is under full Israeli military and administrative rule.

Congresswoman Tlaib has frequently spoken out against the United States’ military support for Israel, and called for the protection of the Palestinians’ rights.

In an emotional speech at the House of Representative in May 2021, Tlaib criticized President Joe Biden and other top officials for offering statements that she said did not acknowledge “Palestinian humanity.” 

Also in November of the same year, she called on Washington to give up its unconditional support for Israel and stop the regime from committing crimes against minors.

Over the past months, Israel has ramped up attacks on Palestinian towns and cities throughout the occupied territories. As a result of these attacks, dozens of Palestinians have lost their lives and many others have been arrested.

Since the start of 2022, Israeli troops have killed more than 210 Palestinians, including more than 50 children, in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds as well as the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to the United Nations, the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in the occupied West Bank in 2022 was the highest in 16 years.

Local and international rights groups have condemned Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians.

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