Urgent Action: Write to your MP about Umm al Hiran
On Wednesday 18th January, Israeli forces conducted a dawn raid to demolish the Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in Israel. This resulted in several houses being demolished and two deaths. In view of this escalation of the situation, we need you to take action and write to your MP asking them to bring this matter to the Foreign Secretary as a matter of urgency.
Back in November, your actions saved the village from demolition. Over 3000 of you wrote to your MP demanding urgent action to stop the then scheduled demolition. Your emails, along with protests around the world delayed the demolition – until now.
On Wednesday morning, 500 fully armed police arrived in the village of Umm al-Hiran. One resident of the village was shot and killed by police and a Palestinian member of the Knesset, Ayman Odeh, was shot in the head with sponge-tipped bullets. Eight homes were demolished.
This demolition has been delayed for two years due to international protests at this extreme case of ethnic cleansing, but the Israeli Government has now given the go-ahead for the village to be razed, destroying the homes and livelihoods of many families.
The 700 residents of the village have lived there for almost 60 years and have a lease to build a village, farm the land and graze their sheep.
The villagers have said that they are happy to live as neighbours with the Jewish settlers, but do not see why they should be evicted, pointing out that there are 3¼ million acres in the Negev, and that there is plenty of land for the new town to be built on instead of their one small acre of land.
The Israeli state has made it clear that the new village is for Jewish residents only and the Bedouin must move out.
We need international protest on a sufficient scale, and especially protests from European governments. The UK Government has expressed “concern” over the threat to Umm al-Hiran. This is not enough - the British government must use all of its influence to halt this destruction.
Only stronger international protests will help stop the demolition of Umm al-Hiran. We know this stopped the bulldozers last time. Write to your MP now and take action to stand in solidarity with the residents of Umm al-Hiran.