Press TV has conducted an interview with Saeed Nimer, professor of political science at Birzeit University in Ramallah, about Israel pressing ahead with its demolition plans in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Talk to us about the systematic policy of the Israeli home demolitions in the occupied West Bank and the agenda that the Israeli regime has?
Nimer: It is clearly part of the ethnic cleansing that is still going on, since 1948 till now especially in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem (al-Quds). As a matter of fac, since 1967 till now, Israel has demolished more than 25,000 Palestinian homes, [uprooted] more than 1.5 million trees and so on with all their policies to ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and East Jerusalem (al-Quds).
Today they have demolished these houses in Jordan Valley, and Jordan Valley from the Israeli point of view is very valuable and important and usually it is very much targeted and most of the operations are going on in the Jordan Valley. They do not want any growth of the population and they have seized land and they also restricted Palestinian Bedouin and Palestinian villagers even in attending their land there. So definitely they are going to demolish any houses.
Also this morning, they demolished another building also inside Jerusalem, belongs to a Palestinian with six apartments and it was totally demolished also under the pretence that this building has no permit to be built in that area. They do not give permits and yet at the same time if the Palestinians build their homes, they come and demolish it and especially in the areas that is under the total Israeli control according to Oslo Agreement in "C” areas where there is jurisdiction for the Israeli army, definitely they are not going to give any permits to the Palestinians to build, yet at the same time they continue in their policy of demolishing the houses and the land of the Palestinian people.
Press TV: Talking about the issue of settlements on occupied Palestinian land, the United States which is the major ally of Israel has condemned the settlement expansion, the EU has condemned it, United Nations has condemned it, most of the international community sees the settlements as illegal, yet Israel continues with its settlement expansion policy. What has to happen to get the status quo to change?
Nimer: Because so far the international community as well as the United States is doing only a condemnation and condemnation is a verbal kind of action, that’s it, and the Israelis know that they do not do anything about it, and the Israelis are feeling that they are above the law and they do not care.
What is needed now by the international community is really to take action. In Europe to a certain degree there was some actions against settlements but not in the United States but we need to develop even in the European countries the methods of boycotting the settlements not only the products coming from the settlements or the companies that are working in the settlements but also all Israeli companies and institutions that are dealing with the settlements like the banks which is now on the ground for the Palestinian BDS to boycott the banks that is dealing with the settlers and the settlements and all other kind of institutions.
We need more actions to be done by the international community if they know and condemn the settlements as illegal, also as unethical and it is part of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.