British MPs call on government to pressure Israel to stop evictions

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LONDON – A group of UK lawmakers on Tuesday appealed to the British government to increase pressure on Israel to stop its forced evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem.

Over 80 MPs from different parties, from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, asked the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in a letter to “make clear to its Israeli counterpart that relations cannot continue as normal in the event of such transgressions”.

“As you are well aware, the forcible transfer of an occupied population is a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as is the transfer of an occupier’s population into occupied territory, which includes East Jerusalem,” the letter read.

“All measures should be considered including reducing diplomatic engagement and banning trade in settlement products in full conformity with international law obligations in order to challenge the settler economy that profits from the occupation,” it added.

Adding that Israel’s settlements are illegal, MPs said: “Such a step is not a sanction but a measure designed to ensure that the UK does everything in its power to ensure it does not assist in such serious breaches of international law.”

Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, have been under Israeli occupation since 1967. The occupation is considered illegal under international law.