AL-HAQ PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29 March 2008
Al-Haq has recently published "Where Villages Stood: Israel's Continuing Violations of International Law in Occupied Latroun, 1967-2007." The report can be obtained from Al-Haq upon request, or downloaded electronically here.
The result of a comprehensive research process conducted with the assistance of Israeli organisation Zochrot, the report draws on testimonies from Palestinian civilians and Israeli soldiers to tell the story of the villages of 'Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba.
Located in the Latroun enclave of the West Bank, north-west of Jerusalem, these three Palestinian villages were razed to the ground by the Israeli army upon its occupation of the area in June 1967, despite the fact that it was met with no resistance. The study presents revealing information unearthed in Israeli government archives, demonstrating the intent behind this destruction. The civilian residents of the villages, numbering up to 10,000, were forcibly transferred out of the area. Over 40 years later, and despite repeated attempts, the villagers have been prevented from returning to their land to rebuild their houses and their lives. They remain displaced in the West Bank, Jordan, and beyond.
This perpetuating displacement amounts to a continuing violation of international law for which Israel and its agents remain responsible. Numerous measures in further violation of international law have been put in place in order to buttress the prohibition on the Palestinian owners' and residents' rightful return to their land, including the construction of an illegal Jewish-Israeli settlement and the establishment of a recreational park for Israelis by the Jewish National Fund of Canada on the occupied land of the destroyed Palestinian villages. The area is closed off completely from the rest of the West Bank and treated as if it were part of the sovereign territory of Israel, in clear violation of one of the most fundamental principles of international law – the prohibition on acquisition of territory through the threat or use of force.
Al-Haq has also recently completed a documentary on the story of the Latroun villages which will be released in the coming weeks.
- Ends -