Palestine demolitions under spotlight at Amnesty event in Belfast

Illegal demolitions of Palestinian homes by Israel will come under the spotlight in Belfast next week at an Amnesty International public meeting.

Thousands of Palestinian families have been displaced by Israeli house demolitions in recent years. More than half of those displaced have been Children's rights.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International is organising the public event - 'No Place Like Home: Israel’s Demolition of Palestinian Homes' - at St Mary's University College, on Monday 25 February, starting at 7pm.

Guest speaker will be Linda Ramsden, Director of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) UK, which campaigns against the unlawful practice. Her speech will focus on house demolitions, displacement of Palestinian families and the work of ICAHD.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, who will introduce and chair the meeting, said:

"The increasing rate of settlement expansion and house demolitions is pushing Palestinians to the brink, destroying their livelihoods and prospects for a just and durable peace

"Israel’s unlawful demolitions of Palestinian homes and forced evictions of entire communities violates international human rights law, particularly the right to adequate housing.

"Housing rights violations experienced by Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are both a symptom of the wider human rights violations to which Palestinians are subject, and a barrier to their achievement of other human rights, including their rights to family life, work and education."

The public meeting comes after a recent announcement by engineering company Caterpillar that it intends to expand its office in west Belfast to include support for its operations in the Middle East and other regions. The expansion, which is being supported by grants of £1.7m in public funds, has attracted criticism from campaigners who accuse Caterpillar of complicity in the house demolitions by supplying the equipment used by Israel.

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