“Even our allies must be held accountable for human rights violations,” said US Representative Marc Pocan.
Lawmakers point to the demolition of more than 5,000 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem over the past 50 years, which are “in flagrant violation” of international human rights and war crimes laws, they say.
A group of 64 members of Congress issued similar warnings to the State Department in 2020, with an urgent demand to “pressure the Israeli government to prevent more families from being forcibly transferred and having their homes destroyed.” , as well as a more recent request in March. to investigate the destruction of Palestinian homes.
The latest letter – including signatures from Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal and members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley – calls on Mr Blinken to send “the strongest possible diplomatic message to Israel to renounce” the evictions and demolitions, and to send US observers to document the evictions if they continue .
MP Ocasio-Cortez also criticized on Wednesday President Joe Biden’s brief remarks in which he said Israel has the right to defend itself.
“I expect and hope this will end as soon as possible,” the president told reporters on Wednesday after his conversation with the Israeli prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu.
She said “general statements like these [with] little context or recognition of what precipitated this cycle of violence – namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al Aqsa – dehumanize the Palestinians [and] imply that the United States will turn a blind eye to human rights abuses. It’s wrong.”
According to a reading of the White House appeal, Mr. Biden “condemned rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv” and “expressed his unwavering support for security. Israel and Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its interests. people, while protecting civilians.
He also expressed “encouragement of a path towards restoring lasting calm,” the White House said.
“By intervening only to name the actions of Hamas – which are reprehensible – [and] Refusing to recognize the rights of Palestinians, Biden reinforces the misconception that Palestinians are at the root of this cycle of violence, ”Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “It is not a neutral language. It takes one side – the occupation side. “
The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood has become one of the latest hot spots in Israel’s efforts to expel Palestinians from the occupied territories, as rekindled violence – including attacks inside Al Aqsa Mosque – sparked global protests and an escalation of attacks between Israeli forces and Hamas.
At least 72 people, many of them Palestinian civilians, including at least 16 children, were killed in the Israeli attacks.
Most of the international community has not recognized Israel’s claim to East Jerusalem as legitimate. The Israeli government has dismissed the conflict over the neighborhood as a private one.real estate disputeWhile the Israeli Supreme Court has postponed a court ruling that could decide the fate of its residents.