Please send this letter to your 2 Senators and your Representative, to ask them to intervene on behalf of the Palestinian villagers of Um Al Khair
Today's date, 2015
Name of Senator or Representative
Honorable Senator _________ or Honorable Representative ________,
I am writing as your constituent to ask your URGENT assistance in contacting a federal agency, specifically the U.S. State Department. I NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP TWO HOMES AND A SOCCER FIELD SAFE in the Palestinian Village of Umm Al Khair, a West Bank Palestinian Bedouin village visited by US Consulate staff this past December. Americans are invested in this village providing scholarships.
The houses, built on land owned by the villagers with clear and uncontested title, provide shelter for 15 Palestinians including 11 children. This request is URGENT because the community fears that demolitions can take place as early as Sunday, before an objection can be filed.
- Please ask the State Department to call the Israeli government to request their full and immediate assurance that demolition orders are frozen to allow the Village of Umm Al Khair time to petition the Israeli High court.
- Please also call the Israeli Embassy to get their assurance directly. Express your concern regarding the lack of Palestinian representation on the Objections Committee of the IDF, the group that rejected their plea not to demolish the homes and soccer field.
- Please publicaly state the U.S. position opposing the expansion of Israeli settlements, and specifically state your opposition to the expansion of the nearby settlement of Karmel, illegal under international law.
- Please press both groups to provide Israel’s acknowledgement of the right of this village and all Palestinian villages to plan, build on, herd on, and cultivate the land they own.
Your intervention is urgently requested because there is a pattern of demolitions occurring in this village. Starting on October 31st, 2008, the Israeli Army demolished family homes near the settlement of Karmel. Demolitions continued in 2010, 2011, and 2013, and most recently three demolitions on October 27th and 28, 2014, followed by the confiscation on November 1st of tents provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross and a Palestinian Ministry. Tents were the only shelters for families made homeless in a very cold winter – and today another snow storm is on its way.
Please note that Americans have been established a scholarship fund for the village children and have been helping to rebuild. Many NGO’s including the Israeli Palestinian Organization, Villages Group, and the Israeli NGO, Comet ME have been working with Um Al Kheir for many years. There is a talented artist in the village whose work could provide jobs and USAID investment could expand agriculture and provide infrastructure. Please make your calls today on my behalf to keep the village standing. I look forward to your reply.
Your affiliation (if any)
Your home address including street, city, state and zip code (so they can see you are a constituent)