WEST BANK (Dispatches) – Two rights groups have called on the United States to immediately cancel plans to build a new embassy and diplomatic compound in Al-Quds on land which they say was confiscated from Palestinian families.
The call was made in a letter written by Adalah and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of the Palestinian families and sent to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. ambassador to the occupied territories Thomas Nides.
“Should the U.S. proceed with this plan, it would not only be complicit with Israel’s illegal confiscation of Palestinian-owned land, but it would also become an active participant in the seizure of the land of U.S. citizens,” the organizations wrote.
In February 2021, the U.S. State Department and the occupying regime’s land authority submitted plans for a U.S. diplomatic compound, following former U.S. President Donald Trump’s highly controversial May 2018 decision to unilaterally recognize Al-Quds as the occupying regime’s so-called capital and move the American embassy from Tel Aviv.
Earlier this week, the plans were made open for a 60-day public comment period after which a final decision on the project will be made.
In the 45-page letter, the two groups attached rental contracts between British Mandate authorities and Palestinian families who temporarily leased their land, which then made up part of the Allenby Barracks military base.
The land was confiscated by the Zionist regime under the Absentees’ Property Law, which grants the regime the power to confiscate and impound Palestinian properties and assets that they were forced to leave behind during the Nakba.
The Nakba, or “the catastrophe”, is the name Palestinians give to the massacres and forced expulsion they endured at the hands of Zionists in 1948, which left an estimated 15,000 indigenous Palestinians dead and some 750,000 displaced.
If the complex moves forward, Adalah and CCR said in the letter, it will be built “on land seized from Palestinians in violation of international law”.