BWI condemns Israeli violence in East Jerusalem

(Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images) 

BWI adds its voice to the growing international condemnation of the violence committed by the Israeli government in occupied East Jerusalem over the past few days and extends solidarity to the people of Palestine that have been subjected to systematic Israeli violence.

Palestinians have been protesting at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Complex in East Jerusalem the Israeli government’s plans to forcibly remove several families from their homes in nearby Sheikh Jarrah despite living there for generations. The planned evictions, if implemented, would constitute a gross violation of Israel’s obligations under international law.

Israeli forces' continued violence, including attacks on worshippers inside Al Aqsa Mosque and airstrikes have resulted in over 119 Palestinian deaths, including children and 869 injured since last Friday.  Sadly, the ensuing violence also resulted in the death of 8 Israeli civilians.

BWI condemns the unlawful detention of Ashraf Al-A’war, Secretary of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, who has been banned from taking part in any trade union or political gathering for a period of one month. This harassment of a trade union official is a clear violation of ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association.

BWI joins the UN in calling on Israel to “exercise maximum restraint and respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly” and to urge the Israeli authorities "to cease demolitions and evictions” in Palestinian territories. Both sides should now cease their attacks as it is the civilians that eventually suffer as manifested by the death toll. It is time to go back to the negotiating table and reach the two-state solution based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and put an end to the illegal settlements and evictions.