October 10, 2018
Today Is World Mental Health Day
Over 80 international NGO’s and human rights organizations are calling for an urgent international response to prevent the demolition of Khan al-Amar village and the relocation of 130 people currently living there – more than half of whom are women and children.
Doctors of the World has been active in Palestine for over 18 years, specifically in the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Our teams are particularly concerned about the psychological impact this demolition will have on the families who will be forced to relocate. “While most of the people we work with are in a constant state of stress, we know this displacement will have serious psychological consequences for the residents of the village – especially for the children who are particularly vulnerable,” reported Itziar de Miguel, head of Doctors of the World’s project in Palestine.
The United Nations has declared that the demolition of the village and subsequent resettling of its residents is a “forcible transfer” that would constitute a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War). Oxfam’s Palestine Country Director, Chris Eijkemans, says, “These alarming developments must be seen in the broader context of the continued annexation of Palestinian land by the Israeli authorities.”
In response to the threat, AIDA (Association of International Development Agencies) has called on the European Union, the United States and the rest of the international community to publicly condemn the demolition of Khan al-Amar and all other seizing of Palestinian land being carried out by Israeli authorities. Khan al-Amar is just one of 46 communities in the central West Bank (with a combined population of over 7,000) that the UN believes to be under risk of forcible transfer due to Israeli expansion plans.