For immediate release 29 January 2020
The Trump administration’s plan for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict disregards international law and diminishes prospects for a just and lasting peace, said two major humanitarian organisations today.
The Norwegian Refugee Council and Oxfam – which both provide assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory – said the plan heightens the risk of forcible transfer for Palestinians, with Israel already planning to annex large parts of the West Bank.
NRC Regional Director Carsten Hansen said: “The US administration’s plan would make the occupation a permanent reality, with severe humanitarian consequences. The international community must oppose annexation and continued occupation, act decisively to safeguard the rights of Palestinians and advance a path to lasting peace grounded in international law.”
The plan supports Israel’s unilateral annexation of territory, which is prohibited under international humanitarian law. It thereby breaches the legal obligation on states not to recognise or assist internationally wrongful acts.
Marta Lorenzo, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director said: “The US and Israel cannot speak for Palestinians. There cannot be any peace without dialogue. The idea that this proposal will bring prosperity to Palestinians is a pipe dream. Instead, it will deny them their dignity and their right to stay on their land and define their own future.”
Hansen said: “Families we work with are living in constant fear of being evicted from their homes to make way for more illegal settlements. Children have to cross through military checkpoints and face harassment and violence just to get to school. This plan does less than nothing for them.”
Notes to editors
Some 110 Palestinian communities, including Bedouins and herders, living in areas facing annexation by Israel already face severe limitations on the provision of essential services, productive land usage and development initiatives.
Destruction and seizure of Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2019 reached record numbers. By the end of the year, a total of 623 Palestinian-owned structures had been demolished or seized, 914 Palestinians displaced, and a further 65,444 adversely affected. The spike in demolitions was mirrored by an upward trend in settlement expansion and settler violence, leading to the death of four Palestinians and the injury of 391.