14 August 2013
PALESTINE URGENT ACTION: 2 Campaigns, 2 Petitions, 2
Two of CPT Palestine’s biggest campaigns have their day in
court on 2 September.
Last October, CPT Palestine, with direction from our
partners, became involved with two developing situations. One was connected to the al-Rajabi
building, which lies between the settlement of Kiryat Arba and Hebron’s Old
City and which settlers were trying to take over. The other was the eviction of 1000 people in the Masafer
Yatta area, which Israel designated as Firing Zone 918. Both of these situations will come to
their critical moments in Israeli courts on 2 September 2013.
In 2007, Israeli settlers moved into the al-Rajabi building,
claiming to have bought the property from the Palestinian owners, a sale which
under Israeli law must be coordinated with the Israeli government, but was not. The building is the largest on the road
connecting Kiryat Arba settlement to settlements in the Old City. Many speculate that settlers moving
into this building is a major step toward taking over the entire area between
the settlements, now inhabited by Palestinians. Palestinians fought the action in the Israeli court system,
proving that the settlers had used forged documents to buy the building. Israeli police had to remove the settlers
from the building in 2008. Today
the settlers are trying to use a legal loophole to regain possession of that
property. The court date for the
final decision is 2 September 2013.
The people of the Masafer Yatta region are farmers and
shepherds who live off the land. In the 1970s, the Israeli military designated the area as Firing
Zone 918, a place to conduct military exercises. The people continued to live there until 1999 when the
military evacuated them, claiming they were not permanent residents, and thus
were not allowed to live in a live firing area. Again, the Palestinians fought this in Israeli courts and
won a temporary injunction allowing them to return to their lands and destroyed
homes. The injunction did not
allow them to rebuild their homes or erect basic infrastructure that had been
destroyed (schools, roads, solar panels, toilets, etc.) The temporary injunction has lasted for
the last twelve years, until the Israeli military again asked the courts for
permission to evict residents of eight of the villages. The court date for the final decision
is 2 September 2013.
We are asking our constituents to help with both of these
issues, if they have not done so already:
In the case of Firing Zone 918, CPT has started a petition,
in coordination with the Israeli peace activists who are endeavoring to pressure the
Israeli courts. CPT’s petition is
aimed at USA policy makers, and will be delivered to Secretary of State John
In the case of the Rajabi
building CPT is promoting the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee’s petition.
Please click on the links
to get more information and to sign the petitions. Help prevent Israel from forcing more Palestinians from
their homes, and diminishing prospects of peace and justice.