Amnesty International demands end to destruction of “unrecognised” villages in Israel

International human rights organisation Amnesty International has called on people to take action to prevent the demolition of the village of al- Araqib to make way for planned forestry.

The village, the organisation claims, has been demolished by the Israeli state on over 20 occasions despite the 250 villagers effected having clear evidence of their legal ownership of the land from the Ottoman period.

The village is one of 40 “unrecognised villages” in Israel that are prone to demolition at any given time.

The Jewish National Fund, a semi governmental organisation, has already landscaped the area, on which the village is currently based, for a planned forest.

The JNF has planted over 240 million trees in Israel since its inception. It has also built dams and reservoirs. By 2007 it owned 13.7% of all land in Israel. The organisation was originally established to buy land for Jewish settlers in British Mandate Palestine. However, most recently, according to refugee organisation Badil, the JNF has been active in forcing Palestinians from their villages within Israel and planting trees in their stead. A process Badil refers to as “green-washing”.

Amnesty International is asking individuals to take action on the issue by sending letters to JNF chairman Effie Stenzler calling on him to cease the destruction of “unrecognised villages”.

You can take action at http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/stop-destr…ods-5

Kevin Murphy – IMEMC

May 25, 2011

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