More than 400 Rabbis petition against Palestinian home demolitions

Palestinian women and children inspect the damaged family home of Ziad Awad in the town of Idna, 13 kilometers (8 miles) west of the West Bank city of Hebron, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (File photo: AP)

More than 400 Rabbis from around the world signed a petition the past week calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, a rights group said.

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) penned an open letter to the Israeli premier in which they said his decision conflicted with “international law and Jewish tradition.”

Netanyahu ordered the demolition of more than 400 Palestinian homes in an area occupied by Israel in the West Bank on Friday claiming that they were illegally constructed by the EU, the Times of Israel reported.

“So far, over 400 rabbis and cantors from Israel, the USA, Canada, Britain and other countries have signed the call to Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop the practice of home demolitions,” the letter said.

“Every year, hundreds of Palestinian homes are demolished due to discriminatory administrative plans created and implemented by the Israel military without significant Palestinian influence.”

A number of prominent Rabbis signed the petition, namely Amy Eilberg, the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi and Zalman Schachter Shalomi z’l, the late founder and leader of the Jewish Renewal movement.

In the letter, the group acknowledges Israeli restrictions set on construction in occupied Palestinian territory, a claim corroborated by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In a report drafted by the OCHA, the office found that Israeli-applied planning policies discriminated against Palestinians making it extremely difficult to obtain permits, the Independent reported.

“There has been no representation or true ability for Palestinians to determine how to properly plan for their communities since local and district planning committees were abolished in 1971,” the letter said adding that the Israeli military has taken control.

“The State of Israel has an obligation to ensure that every human being under her control, each created in God’s Image, has a fair chance to build a home for him/herself and his/her family,” the Rabbis said.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45