Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) welcomed today the letter signed by 64 U.S lawmakers concerning the crime of home demolition that Israel employs systematically against Palestinian families.
‘This overdue scrutiny should be the beginning of accountability for Israel’s unchecked crimes, which are often overlooked by the U.S Congress.’ Home demolitions, forced transfers and collective punishment are serious crimes and constitute a grave violation of both international law and international humanitarian law, said Ashrawi in a statement.
‘Using American taxpayer’s money to commit these crimes is also in violation of the requirements of the Arms Export Control Act, which entails that US-supplied military equipment to Israel should only be used for so-called self-defense.’
The statement stressed that Israel employs several tactics to entrench its illegal occupation of Palestine, while using home demolition, forced transfer, collective punishment and other illegal actions to minimize the number of Palestinians on the land.
‘It is time for the U.S Congress to actively monitor its generous military aid to Israel and to hold it accountable when it violates the aid conditions or its obligations under international law. Israel has been exempt from any kind of accountability and acts freely with full impunity. Israel has also violated U.S law pertaining the use of American aid and it is time for Congress to bring Israel into compliance and respect of its own legislation.’
‘In this context, and in compliance with International law and international humanitarian law, the responsibility of Congress extends to ensuring that American companies listed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights as contributing to the human rights violations of the Palestinian people,’ said Ashrawi.
‘Congress should use its authority to end the companies’ illegal profiteering and contributions to violations of international law,” she concluded.