2020 saw an increase in home demolitions, with the highest number in five years of demolitions of Palestinian homes and infrastructure being carried out, in spite of the unprecedented health and financial crisis brought on by COVID-19.
These demolitions are part of an Israeli policy designed to create a hostile environment for Palestinians in the West Bank, aimed at forcing them out of what is designated as ‘area C’, a Palestinian area under full Israeli military control, and then taking over their land.
Alongside the threat of home demolitions, Palestinians living in the nearby area known as Masafer Yatta, are currently waiting for a ruling from the Israeli High Court following the establishment of an IDF firing zone on their lands.
This ruling may approve the forcible transfer of over 1,000 residents whose homes, schools, and clinics sit on lands declared “Firing Zone 918.” On October 19th, 2020, diplomats from the European Union, including Ireland, visited Masafer Yatta and issued a statement condemning demolitions and calling on Israel not to displace the communities.
Our organisation, Breaking the Silence, brings together former Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied territories. We speak out about what we have seen, exposing the daily reality of our brutal military occupation of Palestinian land. To date we have collected over a thousand testimonies from soldiers who chosen to break their silence.
We have a long history of partnership with Trócaire. We are proud that they help fund our work, and join together with us in campaigning for an end to Israel’s occupation. With their support, we continue to speak out, expose these injustices, and struggle for a more just and peaceful future.
Ori Givati, Advocacy Director with Breaking the Silence