ADC Condemns Israeli Use of Deadly Force on al-Nakba Commemorators
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee strongly
condemns the use of deadly force by Israeli forces on Palestinians
commemorating al-Nakba or the catastrophe. For Palestinians and others
in the Middle East, May 15th marks the destruction of historic Palestine
and the massive forced expulsion and displacement of Palestinians by
Israeli forces in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
News reports indicate that
Israeli forces opened fire on commemorators in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory, as well as in the border areas including Lebanon and the
Occupied Golan Heights. The use of deadly force on peaceful civilians,
by any nation, must not be tolerated by the international community.
Immediate action by the international community must be taken to ensure
that the Israelis stop using excessive force on the demonstrators.
Further, a clear message must be sent that the use of force will not be
tolerated and Israel will be held accountable for its actions.
According to media reports, and at the time of this release, at least
nine Palestinians have been killed and dozens more injured after Israeli
snipers opened fire on the peaceful demonstrators.
Al-Nakba was not a singular event – displacement continues to this
day, affecting thousands of Palestinians throughout the Middle East.
There are approximately seven million Palestinian refugees and 450,000
internally displaced persons, representing 70% of the entire Palestinian
population worldwide (9.8 million). Internal displacement continues,
unabated, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) due to the Israeli
construction of the wall, house demolitions, evictions, and land
Similar patterns of forced displacement for Palestinians living in
Israel occur as well. Urban development plans for the exclusive benefit
of Jewish communities are displacing indigenous Palestinian communities
in places like Naqab (Negev) and the Galilee. In 2010, the Netanyahu
government approved the development of 1,600 new housing units in
Occupied East Jerusalem, a policy condemned by the U.S. This
development will also forcibly displace several Palestinian families
from their land and homes.
ADC is committed to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Any
peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict requires the
dismantlement of the Israeli Wall (the wall was declared illegal by the
International Court of Justice), the cessation and dismantlement of all
settlements, an end to the collective punishment imposed on the
Palestinian population as a result of Israeli occupation policies,
respect for the exercise of democratic rights of Palestinians in
electing their government, the creation of a viable and independent
Palestinian state, and the upholding of the right of return of the
Palestinian refugees under international law.
ADC will continue to
advocate for the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination
in an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem
as its capital.
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
(ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the
largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties
organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former
Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapters and
members in all 50 states.