I am concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Middle East and our government’s handling of it. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem is indicative of the lack of balance our government has shown in handling this situation.
One example of their bad behavior is Israel’s continued occupation and annexation of the West Bank. Our Amnesty International group has “adopted” the villages of Hadidiyah and Humsa. Though these villages are on the side of the West Bank farthest from Israel, its residents face repeated home demolition and expulsion. Israel has been settling the area illegally and taking control of its water sources for its own farming.
Villagers’ herds were confiscated in 1997 and homes were destroyed. In 2007, the homes of 40 people were destroyed and a tractor and a water tank were confiscated — making it more difficult to get the water they need.
In November and December 2015, Israeli forces came to Hadidiyah three times, digging up a road, demolishing houses, and then they returned to confiscate tents provided by a humanitarian agency, leaving 19 people homeless just before the onset of the coldest part of winter.
We are concerned that the residents of the West Bank, including Humsa and Hadidiya are constantly facing the demolition of their homes and expulsion by the Israelis — even though this does not fall into line with international standards. Meanwhile, our government is clearly moving in the direction of supporting the occupiers. Why?
Iowa Legislative Coordinator
Amnesty International USA