NEWS
About Us

Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
UK architects, planners and other construction industry professionals campaigning for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.

DATABASE & REPORTS
Sunday
Feb282010

CALL TO ACTION -Save Oush Graib from the IDF and Settlers

28.02.2010 Kairos and Playground for Palestine CALL TO ACTION

Oush Grab Diary

In cooperation with the aic.jpg
………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

28.02.2010 Kairos and Playground for Palestine CALL TO ACTION


Playground for Palestine is sending out this CALL TO ACTION to alert our supporters about a troubling development in the Oush Grab Peace Park, the site designated for a 2010 PfP playground installation.

The Israeli military is trying to implement a decision to confiscate community and privately held property belonging to the community and families in the Palestinian Christian town of Beit Sahour.

Included in this swath of land is the treasured Peace Park, which serves as a community space, park and recreational facility where Palestinian families gather daily and was to be the site of one of PfP’s next playgrounds.

We ask you to call and write to Israeli officials in order to protest this action, call upon them to stop the construction of the watchtower, prevent settlers from attacking the park, and cease any idea of building a settlement in the site.

Follow the link and enter zip for to contact local congressmen - http://www.congress.org/communicate
Call the Israeli ambassador 202 364 5500 or email info@washington.mfa.gov.il
Email the Consulate General of the US, Jerusalem - uscongenjerusalem@state.gov
Call the Israeli consulate in Philly 215 977 7600
Contact the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Near East Affairs - Jeffrey D Feltman 202 647 7209
Injustice in Beit Sahour
A Statement by Kairos Palestine

(Jerusalem 20.03.2010) As described by town residents, Ha’aretz,Ma’an News, and other sources in recent days, Israeli soldiers and bulldozers arrived on February 10 at a family recreation park in Beit Sahour – a town slightly east of Bethlehem in the West Bank, and the site of the former army base Osh Grab, which was abandoned by the IDF in 2006 – and declared it a closed military zone.

KAIROS Palestine condemns this action and calls upon churches worldwide to advocate for the Christians and all residents of Beit Sahour and intervene in the damage, present and projected, wrought upon their home.

Please join KAIROS Palestine in condemning these oppressive actions in Beit Sahour and working to restore the justice that is both our calling and our right.

We ask you to call and write to Israeli officials in order to protest this action, call upon them to stop the construction of the watchtower, prevent settlers from attacking the park, and cease any idea of building a settlement in the site.

Please make appeals to:

[Ehud Barak] Minister of Defense, Ministry of Defense,
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940
Email: minister@mod.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Israeli Ambassador in your respective country

Copy to the:

Mayor of Beit Sahour
Email: bsmuni@p-ol.com
Kairos Palestine: www.kairospalestine.ps
Email: Kalimatuna@gmail.com

KAIROS Palestine is a group of Palestinian Christians who authored “A Moment of Truth” – Christian Palestinian’s word to the world about the occupation of Palestine, an expression of hope and faith in God, and a call for solidarity in ending over six decades of oppression – and published it in 2009.

From our board member, Nathan Dannison, more information at –

Here is a great background video re: the site:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9ZaFwi6WBo&feature=player_embedded
and more background information from decolonizing architecture:
http://www.decolonizing.ps/site/?page_id=428

Here’s two articles regarding my non-violent protest and its result:
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=204315
http://www.imemc.org/index.php?obj_id=53&story_id=56403

Here are some photographs of the event:
http://picasaweb.google.com/dannison/BethlehemPart2#5233543371141960338 (scroll forward to see more)

Here are my relevant blog entries:
http://michigantopalestine.blogspot.com/2008/08/praying-for-childrens-hospital.html
http://michigantopalestine.blogspot.com/2008/08/ush-ghrab-is-safe-again.html

Here is some troubling information regarding the current state of affairs:
http://michigantopalestine.blogspot.com/2008/08/ush-ghrab-is-safe-again.html

Also –

Photos of popular resistance including tearing down the apartheid fences in Bilin
http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//100219/ids_photos_wl/r1248158112.jpg/#photoViewer=/100219/481/4865168bfb7a4784947f920bbbd07b13

Beit Sahour: a new struggle by Ben White - 21 February 2010 11:49, The Newstatesman

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/02/palestinian-israeli-settlers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday
Dec152009

GAZA FREEDOM MARCH - December 2009 - January 2010

Breaking the Siege of Gaza

Statement of Purpose and Principles

Endorse the Gaza Freedom March! To sign the Pledge click here!

This is the official “call” for the Gaza Freedom March. Any other version is not authorized or correct.

 

Israel’s blockade of Gaza is a flagrant violation of international law that has led to mass suffering. The U.S., the European Union, and the rest of the international community are complicit.

The law is clear. The conscience of humankind is shocked. Yet, the siege of Gaza continues. It is time for us to take action! On Dec. 31, we will end the year by marching alongside the Palestinian people of Gaza in a non-violent demonstration that breaches the illegal blockade.

Our purpose in this March is lifting the siege on Gaza. We demand that Israel end the blockade. We also call upon Egypt to open Gaza’s Rafah border. Palestinians must have freedom to travel for study, work, and much-needed medical treatment and to receive visitors from abroad.

As an international coalition we are not in a position to advocate a specific political solution to this conflict. Yet our faith in our common humanity leads us to call on all parties to respect and uphold international law and fundamental human rights to bring an end to the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967 and pursue a just and lasting peace.

The march can only succeed if it arouses the conscience of humanity.

Please join us.

The International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza
For more information, please see the Statement of Context

For a list of endorsers, please click here.

Amnesty International has called the blockade of Gaza a “form of collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza, a flagrant violation of Israel’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Human Rights Watch has called the blockade a “serious violation of international law.”

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter has said the people of Gaza are being treated “like animals,” and has called for “ending of the siege of Gaza” that is depriving “one and a half million people of the necessities of life.”

One of the world’s leading authorities on Gaza, Sara Roy of Harvard University, has said that the consequence of the siege “is undeniably one of mass suffering, created largely by Israel, but with the active complicity of the international community, especially the U.S. and European Union.”

The law is clear. The conscience of humankind is shocked.  

Yet, the siege of Gaza continues.

The people of Gaza have exhorted the international community to move beyond words of condemnation.

It is time for us to take action!

The Long March toward Freedom

To mark the anniversary of Israel’s bloody 22-day assault on Gaza the International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza will dispatch contingents from around the world to Gaza.

On January 1, 2010 we will march alongside the people of Gaza in a nonviolent demonstration that breaches the illegal blockade.

The march is inspired by decades of nonviolent Palestinian resistance from the mass popular uprising of the first intifada to the West Bank villagers currently resisting the land grab of Israel’s annexationist wall.

It draws inspiration from the international volunteers who have stood by Palestinian farmers harvesting their crops, from the crews on the vessels who have challenged the Gaza blockade by sea, and from the drivers of the convoys who have delivered humanitarian aid to Gaza.

It draws inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi called his movement Satyagraha-Hold on to the truth. We hold on to the truth that Israel’s siege of Gaza is illegal and inhuman.

Gandhi said that nonviolence requires more courage and is more effective than violence. We want to prove the truth of Gandhi’s beliefs with our deeds.

We are not afraid, we won’t turn back, we won’t let Gaza die.

Gandhi said that the purpose of nonviolent action is to “quicken” the conscience of humankind. We want to bring humankind not just to deplore Israeli brutality but actively to stop it.

Those of us residing in the United States also draw inspiration from our Civil Rights Movement.

If Israel devalues Palestinian life then-just as northern whites went down South during Freedom Summer-we must both interpose our bodies to shield Palestinians from Israeli brutality and bear personal witness to the inhumanity that Palestinians daily confront.

If Israel defies international law then-just as federal marshals were sent in to enforce the law of the land against racist southern sheriffs-we must send nonviolent marshals from around the world to enforce the law of the international community in Gaza.

We take no sides in internal Palestinian politics. We side only with international law and basic human decency.

We conceive this march as yet another link in the chain of nonviolent resistance to Israel’s flagrant disregard of international law.

The siege is illegal.

The wall is illegal.

The settlements and house demolitions are illegal.

The closures and curfews are illegal.

The roadblocks and checkpoints are illegal.

The detention and torture are illegal.

The truth is that if international law were enforced the occupation would be unsustainable.

The march can only succeed if it arouses the conscience of humanity.

If we join ranks with the people of Gaza in the march for freedom, and millions more around the world watch the march on the internet, we can breach the siege without a drop of blood being shed.

If the whole world is watching, Israel can’t stop us.

Please join us.



Monday
Sep142009

End Participation of Ariel College in Solar Decathlon - Madrid 2010 !

8 July 2009

To: Beatriz Corredor Sierra,

Ministerio de Vivienda, Government of Spain.

Paseo de la Castellana,112

2807, Madrid, Espana

 

Dear Minister Sierra,


RE: SOLAR DECATHLON EUROPE - MADRID 2010, Participation of Ariel.

As members of the international organisation, Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine, and academics from Universities in the UK, we are astonished to see that the  self-styled Ariel 'University Centre’ of Samaria is representing Israel in the Solar Decathlon, and has been selected as a participant in the final entries.

This 'college' is not in Israel, but in territory which the settlers call ‘Judea and Samaria’, in the West Bank illegally occupied by Israel. The settlement of Ariel has been constructed illegally, and its settlers and institutions illegally set up, to create facts on the ground that will negate the possibility of a viable Palestinian state. This is in complete contradiction to international law and the Geneva Conventions.

Under the Rome statute of the Geneva Convention, "The transfer ... by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" is a war crime – an apt description of the Israeli settlement process. The International Criminal Court Act states that it is an offence to aid and abet war crimes. So it is considered illegal for an EU country to award any recognition to this sort of institution, let alone to "enhance its prestige" which is one of the stated aims of the Decathlon.

The International Union of Architects (UIA) has already taken note that Israeli architecture and planning in the West Bank is contrary to its professional ethics and Codes of Conduct and Accords. Architects, planners and academics around the world have signed petitions against the illegal settlements.

Ariel college, whose degrees are not even recognised by Israel’s own Council of Higher Education, generally excludes the local Palestinian population, who are confined and restricted in every detail of their lives and controlled by hundreds of checkpoints and barriers, and prevented from travelling on the main settler-only highways in the West Bank. Their water resources and land are expropriated, and their houses and trees demolished. The head of the architecture department in Ariel College in the West Bank commented that his students watching out of their classroom windows  "see the Arab villages, but don’t notice them. They look and they don’t see.”

Ariel College has been the subject of international boycott by academic institutions around the world, and the Palestinian community and NGOs (PACBI) have requested that the participation of the illegal colonial institutions like Ariel, set up against international law by Israel, have no place in international forums. Their participation would convey undeserved respectability and recognition to them.


In the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression, and as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid, we sincerely urge the organisers of the Solar Decathlon to withdraw the participation of this illegal institution. Its presence in the Decathlon will only sour the atmosphere and constructive spirit of such an important gathering.

We look forward to your urgent response.

With best regards

Abe Hayeem, RIBA Chair, Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine,UK
Hans Haenlein, RIBA
Kate Mackintosh,RIBA
Cezary M Bednarski RIBA FRSA SARP
Dr. Ghada Karmi, MD, Exeter University, UK
Prof. Haim Bresheeth, Chair of Media and Cultural Studies, University of E. London
Walter Hain, Architect,UK

Martin O’Shea, RIBA

Isabel Camacho, arquitecto COAM, Spain.

Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research, LSE

John Murray, Architect,UK
Gail Waldman,RIBA

Malcolm Hecks,RIBA, UK, France
John van Rooyen, RIBA
David Berridge, RIBA
Professor Osama Hamdan, Architect, Al Quds University, Jerusalem
Mike Gwilliam, RTPI, Planner UK
Zahira Nazer, Architect, Urban designer, Lebanon, UK
Mike Cushman, LSE
Dr. Robert Boyce, LSE

Dr. Derek Summerfield, London Institute of Psychiatry

Edwin Rutledge, Architect USA/Germany
Prof. Fahmi Salameh ,Architect, Universitat Politecnica, Barcelona, Al Quds
Ahmad Barclay, Architect, UK, dip.Arch Nottingham University

Yara Sharif, Architect, Unversity of Westminster, Birzeit University, Ramallah
Sara Wood, UK
Nicholas Wood, Architect, UK

Kelvin Bland,RIBA

Aun Qurashi,RIBA

Dr. Sue Blackwell, Birmingham University
Dr.Keith Hammond, Glasgow University

Phil Marfleet, University of East London,UK

Steve Fox, RIBA

Paul Barham,Architect,UK
Mayyad Bader, Architect, UK
Francesca Visconti, Architect, Italy
Anne Markey,RIBA, London Metropolitan University
Robert Shaw,RIBA Practice

John Lynes, Engineer, Christians’ Peacemakers’ Team, Iraq
Anil Korotane, Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST) UK

**************************************************************************************

Letter from the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Campaign

Palestine, September 2, 2009

Beatriz Corredor Sierra,

Minister of Housing, Government of Spain.

Javier Uceda Antolín,

Rector, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid,

Subject: The participation of ARIEL UNIVERSITY’s Center of Samaria IN THE SOLAR DECATHLON MADRID 2010 

Illegal Israeli settlements should not be promoted as a form of sustainable architecture.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), which is drawn from the major Palestinian political and social force is deeply concerned about your selection of Ariel 'University’s' Centre of Samaria (hereafter referred to as AUCS) as a participant in the Solar Decathlon, organized by the Spanish Ministry of Housing and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and taking place in Madrid in June 2010. Extending an invitation to AUCS is a form of complicity in breaching international law through offering concrete support and legitimation to an illegal Israeli settlement built on occupied Palestinian territory.

The Palestinian BDS campaign has called for the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions until Israel fully complies with its obligations under international law.[1] Israeli academic institutions have “either contributed directly to maintaining, defending or otherwise justifying … [Israeli colonial] oppression, or have been complicit in them through their silence."[2] AUCS is especially complicit as it is itself a colony built on occupied Palestinian territory, violating the Fourth Geneva Convention which regards such colonization as “war crimes.” The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in July 2004 also ruled in its advisory opinion on Israel’s Wall that all such settlements are illegal.

Founded as a regional branch of Bar-Ilan University, AUCS is located in the Ariel settlement which, together with its industrial zone Barkan, is the second largest Israeli colony in the West Bank, just after the occupied East Jerusalem settlement block. It is located 22 km away from the “Green Line,” cutting deep into the Palestinian Governorate of Salfit and grabbing more than  22% of its land: 10% is used to house 17,000 settlers, and 12% is used for military training purposes[3].

Israel’s illegal apartheid Wall divides the governorate into separate Bantustans in order to facilitate the annexation of the Ariel settlement block to Israel. The colony destroys the livelihoods and water sources of Palestinian farming communities as prime agricultural lands are buried under its cement or polluted by its waste.

The Fourth Geneva Convention states that "the transfer by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" is a war crime.[4] Also, U.N. Security Council Resolution 465 confirms the illegality of Israeli settlements and calls on “all states not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection with settlements in the occupied territories.”[5]

Ariel settlement

 

The most recent European Council meeting in Brussels, held on June 15th, 2009, has once again reiterated the illegality of Israeli settlements and has defined them as "obstacles for peace."[6] Spain, represented by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miguel Angel Moratinos, has explicitly adopted this European position on Israeli settlements, which lends further support to why Spain should not engage in any cooperation with AUCS.

The Israeli project, called ‘the stretch house’ is in fact the ultimate model of Zionist expansion and colonialism. Fayeq Kishawi, coordinator of the popular committees against the Wall and the settlements in Salfit district, comments: “The Israeli project represents Israeli claim to expand control over our land and resources and to expel us, occupy us and destroy our livelihoods at their own whim and desire. It is a recipe for how to steal more and more land. As somebody living in Salfit and suffering like the others from Ariel’s continuous ‘stretching’ I wonder how the Solar Decathlon can accept a project submitted by an institution that has stolen our land and will build its project on our stolen land.”

Abe Hayeem, chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, has referred to the irony of the name Ariel College chose for its project at the Solar Decathlon, "the stretch house;” illegal settlements, like Ariel, have been built by 'stretching' and distorting international law to justify their construction. Hayeem believes that “Ariel’s entry boasts of proposing a different alternative at a time of growing awareness for sustainability and ‘green’ architecture" in blatant disregard for international law.

The inclusion of “the stretch house” into the “Solar Villa” undermines international law and offers concrete support for and complicity with Israeli war crimes. We ask that you reconsider your invitation to the illegal settlement institution to display its model illegal expansion rebranded as one of ‘sustainability.’

The International Union of Architects (UIA) has charged that Israel’s architecture and planning in the occupied West Bank are contrary to its professional ethics and Codes of Conduct and Accords. Architects, planners and academics around the world have signed petitions against the illegal settlements.

Thus, inviting AUCS to participate in the Solar Decathlon is not only a breach of international law, but also lends validity to the illegal settlement through promoting its model of ‘illegal sustainability’ in house building.

 In compliance with international law, and in the spirit of international solidarity and moral consistency, we ask the organisers of the Solar Decathlon Madrid 2010 competition for sustainable architecture to cancel the participation of AUCS. We ask that you recognize that the ‘stretch house’ is not a sustainable housing development, but rather a model that actively breaches international law. We sincerely hope that Madrid’s Solar Villa will not include a model promoting the Israeli occupation and apartheid.

The Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC)

www.bdsmovement.net

Endorsed by Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP)

www.apjp.org  


[1] This includes ending the occupation, facilitating the right of Palestinian refugees to return and ensuring equal rights for all Palestinian citizens of Israel. For more information please see the Palestinian BDS call: http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

[2]http://www.pacbi.org/printnews.php?id=1051

[3] http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_barrier_report_july_2009_english_low_res.pdf. Page 40.

[4] Rome Statute of the Geneva Convention, Art. 8 (2) (b) (VIII)- and as a source of International Humanitarian Law Art. 85(4) (a) as quoted by the International Red Crescent Committee: http://www.icrc.org 

[5] “All measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.” See: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/db942872b9eae454852560f6005a76fb/5aa254a1c8f8b1cb852560e50075d7d5

[6] Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process, adopted by the Council on 15 June 2009

(11046/09) http://www.europa-eu-un.org/articles/es/article_8923_es.htm

****************************************************************************************************************************

Wednesday
Sep092009

CALL FOR THE SEVENTH WEEK AGAINST THE APARTHEID WALL, NOVEMBER 9 – 16 2009.

The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, its popular committees and member organizations call on activists to launch a week of global mobilization against the walls of apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza from November 9 to 16 2009

We call on all organizations, networks, institutions, unions and concerned media to mobilize during the 7th Week against the Apartheid Wall and to:

• Protest the overarching Israeli policy of ghettoization behind a system of walls that targets the Palestinian people, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, isolating them from each other and the Palestinians inside the Green Line.

• Protest the criminal repression of the people resisting these walls.
- Protest the inhumane siege on Gaza imposed to force its people to surrender their dignity and struggle.
- Protest the repression of the communities struggling against the Wall in the West Bank. The current wave of violence has reached alarming highs, and education and awareness raising around this issue is critical. Stop the Wall and Addameer have published Repression allowed, resistance denied, an extensive report on the repression of the grassroots movement against the Wall.

• Continue BDS efforts. Launch campaigns against companies building the Wall and complicit in the siege of Gaza. BDS campaigns have already made important inroads, especially against transportation giant Veolia’s project in Jerusalem and settlement builder Lev Leviev. Campaigns are being built up against those involved in the construction of the Wall, such as CRH which is involved in supplying concrete and Elbit Systems, which equips the Wall with sensors and other hi-tech equipment while at the same time producing the drones that kill Palestinians in Gaza.

• Put the Wall back on the agenda. Pressure your government representatives to follow their obligation to ensure the walls in Palestine are torn down and the siege on Gaza is ended. Governments have to respect the ICJ decision and not to aid the construction and maintenance of the Wall. They have to stop their complicity through silence in the siege on Gaza.

On November 9 1989 – exactly 20 years ago – the Berlin Wall fell. The event was celebrated as a victory of the ‘Free World’. Today, however, the same powers back the construction of walls which are destroying Palestine.

Five years ago – the International Court of Justice ruled that the Wall is illegal and has required that it be torn down and all laws and orders related to it be reversed. The Court has reminded the international community of its obligation not to render any aid or assistance to the Wall and to ensure the implementation of international law. To date, the international community has not promoted any tangible move towards the ruling’s implementation.

The hypocrisy must end – justice has to prevail.

Gaza has been imprisoned by walls and razor wire for 15 years. The wall and its no-go zone confiscate almost 25% of the prime agricultural land of the starving Strip. About 15% of Gaza’s farmers are barred from working their farmlands, while tens of water wells and about 50% of livestock shelters and other related industry in the east part of the Gaza strip have been destroyed. Many farmers have been killed while tending to their land or have been displaced and forced into overcrowded urban centers.
 
In the West Bank, the Apartheid Wall carves out today’s Bantustans. It curves around settlements, which continue to grow despite disingenuous talks of a “settlement freeze.” So far its path has isolated 78 Palestinian villages, trapping them between walls, settlements and/or the Green Line while stealing land, water and other resources from hundreds more. Jerusalem remains isolated by the Wall and settlements, and an increasing number of Palestinians have found their homes demolished or taken over by settlers.

In response, the international community has put a veil of silence over these crimes – yet another Nakba for the Palestinian people.

In spite of this, Palestine resistance to the Wall has grown. Protests have been a weekly undertaking in a number of West Bank villages. In an attempt to uproot what they have termed “a dangerous phenomenon”, Occupation forces have employed increasing violent means against protesting communities, in particular youth. In barely more than a year, 6 have been shot and killed by soldiers, hundreds have been injured and dozens arrested in the villages struggling against the Wall.

Gaza has seen much worse. In response to their resilience under siege, the people of Gaza have faced an overwhelming military onslaught. More then 1,500 were killed as a result and thousands more injured this past winter when Occupation forces laid waste to the small costal territory.

In their struggle, the Palestinian people shall not stand alone.

Unite against apartheid!

Thank you for you continued support,

Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
co-founder  of Friends of Freedom and Justice - Bilin

Email- bel3in@yahoo.com
Mobile- (00972) (0) 547847942
Office- (00972) (2) 2489129
Mobile- (00972) (0) 598403676
www.bilin-ffj.org <http://www.bilin-ffj.org/> 
 

Tuesday
Aug252009

End IDF Terror in Bil'in - APJP Petition August 2009

URGENT: Message from Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine.

To:

David Miliband <mailto:private.office@fco.gov.uk> UK Foreign Secretary
Ron Prosor <mailto:ambassador@london.mfa.gov.il> Israeli Ambassador
Ehud Barak <mailto:ehudb@knesset.gov.il> Israeli Minister of Defence
His Excellency Shimon Peres <mailto:president@president.gov.il> President of Israel
Itzhak Lipovetzky , President,The Israeli Association of United Architects<u-architects@barak.net.il> 

22 August 2009

End IDF terror in Bil’in!

We are writing to protest in the strongest possible terms at the illegal military incursions and attacks by the IDF into the peaceful West Bank village of Bil'in near Ramallah. These terrifying night time incursions have resulted thus far in the arrests of 25 people (most under 18) 18 of whom still remain in detention.

Since 1991, 60% of Bi’ilin’s agricultural land has been confiscated to build settlements for Israelis, unlawful under the Geneva conventions, continue the enforced constructon of the annexation Wall, decreed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.

Our international group Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine are extremely concerned at these actions, and the resulting expropriated land stolen from these West Bank villages, including the participation of Israeli architects and planners involved in the design and construction of the illegal housing, against professional ethics and the UIA codes of conduct.

The effect of these actions has been both to impoverish the defenceless Palestinian community and to imprison them in their village, where they are subject to repeated attacks by the Israeli army. These attacks have resulted in injury and even death.

However the people of Bil'in have responded with immense self-control. They have shown the strength of their commitment to a humanitarian outcome by opting for a strategy of non-violence. They have organised weekly demonstrations against the Wall, after Friday prayers. These demonstrations have attracted supporters from Israel and from peace campaigners around the world. However the Israeli army, under no threat whatsoever, has responded with tear gas and rubber and live bullets. On 17th April 2009, Bassem Abu Rameh, known to everyone including the Israeli army, as a man of peace, was shot dead at close range by a high velocity gas cannister. Thus far there seems to have been no credible investigation of his death, or arrest of the known soldier who perpetrated this crime.

The Israeli government seems to find non-violent responses to its illegal behaviour extremely threatening. This may explain the dangerous escalation now taking place. Since June there has been an increased intimidatory atmosphere with regular night raids by heavily armed, face blackened IDF soldiers. These raids are accompanied by threats and intimidation of vulnerable civilians in the Bil'in area and by arrests. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the state wishes to make an example of those who would justifiably protest non-violently. They have the power to do this through the terror of night time raids, threats and intimidation of women, old people and children, and by jailing the members of the organising committees.

As supporters of Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine, anxious for a peaceful and just solution to the conflict, we urge you to use your good offices with the Israeli Government and Ministry of Defence to call for Israel's and its IDF's adherence to international law.

We also call for:

- a halt to these vicious and indiscriminate pogroms in the West Bank villages and an immediate end to the terror incursions and arrests.
- the release of all who have been arrested,
- an end to all illegal settlement construction, and participation in this by Israeli architects and planners.
- removal of all settlers in housing already built on Bil'in land, and from all expropriated land in the Occupied Territories.
- the return of the land to the rightful owners, the village of Bil'in
- dismantling of the illegal Separation Barrier and compensation for all the destruction created by the wall as demanded by the ICJ in 2004.
- an embargo on all arms trading, joint training and EU privileges,
- comprehensive sanctions until Israel adheres to international law and all UN resolutions. 

In addition in meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu, we urge you to demand:
* Israeli settlements blocks – they must be dismantled, not just frozen
* End Israel ’s siege on Gaza
* End Israel ’s ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem

Yours sincerely

Abe Hayeem, RIBA Chair APJP

Hans Haenlein, RIBA

John Hodge, RIBA

Michael Goulden, RIBA

Walter Hain, Architect. UK

Jake Brown, Architect, UK

Anil Korotane, F.A.S.T.

John Lynes, Eng. UK

Isabel Camacho, Arquitecto, Spain

Ian Martin, journalist, UK

Kelvin Bland, RIBA, UK

Gail Waldman, RIBA,UK

Robert Shaw, RIBA

John Murray, Architect

Malcolm Hecks, Architectural and Planning consultant, France

Martin O’Shea, RIBA, UK

David Berridge, RIBA

Beatriz C. Maturana, Architects for Peace, Australia

John Dorman, Architects, Ireland

Mustafa Chaudhury, Architect, UK

Haifa Hammami, Architect, UK

Faisal Khan, RIBA, UK

Asif Khan, MRTPI, Planner UK

Aun Q Qurashi, RIBA

Kim Linden, RIBA

Anne Markey BArch MSc RIBA

John Dorman, RIAI, Ireland

Stephen Kerpen, Architect, US

Michael Gwilliam, MRTPI, Planner, UK

 

(this is only a representative list which is ongoing-

please contact us if you wish to add your name.)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Page 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 ... 14 Next 5 Entries »