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‘Palestine Situation Now Volatile’

The Embassy of the State of Palestine in Harare Tuesday condemned the ongoing violations, crimes of the occupation, ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Palestinian citizens from their homes as part of a frantic Israeli apartheid campaign to steal and Judaize the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.

A Statement from the Embassy Tuesday said the situation has become extremely volatile in particular in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, which is under siege and attacks by Israeli occupation forces, extremist settlers and politicians.

“The Israeli apartheid forces have closed the western entrance to the neighbourhood with iron mounds and have expelled Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists from the vicinity of the home of the Salem family, which is threatened with imminent expulsion in yet another Stale-sanctioned settler attack.

“This is in addition to the colonial projects that aim to demolish thousands of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, as is the case in Silwan, and more settlement units that lead to changing the features and identity of the city,” reads the statement.

The embassy further stated that the operations of Israelization and Judaization of Jerusalem are null and illegitimate and constitute a flagrant violation of international law.

“We hold the Israeli government fully and directly responsible for its consequences and its dangerous repercussions. We once again urge the international community to act to address this crisis. Urgent action is needed to save Palestinian families from further dispossession and forced displacement by this illegal occupation.

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“This must start now with accountability measures for Israel’s blatant schemes to drive Palestinians from their homes and land, in grave breach of international law,” the statement reads.

According to the Human Rights Watch report on Palestine, for a 14th consecutive year, Israeli authorities blocked most of Gaza’s population from travelling through the Erez Crossing, the sole passenger crossing from Gaza into Israel through which Palestinians can travel to the West Bank and abroad.

A generalized travel ban applies to all, except those whom Israeli authorities deem as presenting “exceptional humanitarian circumstances,” mostly persons needing vital medical treatment and their companions, as well as prominent business people.

Even the few seeking to travel under these narrow exemptions, including those seeking urgent medical care outside Gaza, often face denials or failures to respond in a timely manner to their requests.

Israeli authorities tightened the closure amid the Covid-19 pandemic. During the first nine months of 2021, an average of 86 Palestinians in Gaza exited via Erez each day, just 17 per cent of the daily average of 500 in 2019 and less than 1 per cent the daily average of more than 24,000 before the beginning of the Second Intifada or Palestinian uprising in September 2000, according to the Israeli rights group Gisha.

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The Embassy noted that the international community and the Security Council have ceased from taking the necessary measures to compel the occupying country to stop its intrusion into Jerusalem.

It stated that failure to hold apartheid Israel accountable for its crimes, it encourages the occupation state to persist in implementing its colonial Judaization projects in the Holy City.”We affirm that international positions are inconsistent with the suffering and pain of our people and their successive generations as a result of the continuation of the occupation, settlements expansion, daily repression or abuse, which requires an international legal, moral and humanitarian awakening to take the necessary measures to end the historical injustice that has befallen our people”

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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