A British Consulate General team, headed by Deputy British Consul General, James Downer, visited the village of Susiya, which is under threat of demolition.
The team toured the village and talked to residents to learn more about the difficulties facing the village. They were then briefed on the legal situation of the village by the Norwegian Refugee Council.
During the visit Mr Downer expressed the UK government’s condemnation of Israel’s practice of house demolitions in Area C of the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. He also reiterated that the UK would continue to support Palestinians in Area C.
After the visit, Mr Downer said:
We condemn the continued demolitions of Palestinian property by the Israeli authorities. Demolitions and the eviction of Palestinians from their homes cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians; are harmful to the peace process; and, in all but the most exceptional of cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law (IHL). If the demolitions in Susiya are approved, the plan could lead to forcible transfer of its residents, in violation of IHL.
We have repeatedly made clear to the Israeli authorities our serious concern at the increase in demolitions of Palestinian properties in Area C of the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and we call on them to cease the policy of demolitions.
We will continue to support Palestinians facing demolition or eviction through support to our legal aid programme, which helps individuals to challenge these decisions in the Israeli legal system.