Adala Group Files Objection Against US Embassy Plans on Stolen Land in Al-Quds
By Staff, Agencies
A group based in the occupied Palestinian territories has submitted an objection to “Israeli” entity’s planning authorities over a US plan to build a new embassy and diplomatic compound in al-Quds [Jerusalem] on land which it says was confiscated from Palestinian families, of whom several are US citizens.
Adala, The Legal Center for Minority Rights in the “Israeli” entity, filed the objection on Monday and was accompanied by a letter sent to the US ambassador to the “Israeli” entity, Thomas Nides, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, calling on Washington to "immediately cancel" its plans to build the embassy.
"If the US proceeds with this plan, it will be a full-throated endorsement of ‘Israel’s’ illegal confiscation of private Palestinian property in violation of international law," the letter to Nides and Blinken said.
"Additionally … the State Department will be actively participating in violating the private property rights of its own citizens."
The objection and letter were sent as Blinken arrived in the occupied territories on Monday for a visit, which includes meetings with the entity’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top “Israeli” government ministers and officials.
In February 2021, the State Department and the so-called “Israel” Land Authority submitted plans for a US diplomatic compound, following former US President Donald Trump's highly controversial May 2018 decision to unilaterally recognize al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the “Israeli” entity’s so-called capital and move the American embassy from Tel Aviv.
In November 2022, Adalah and the Center for Constitutional Rights sent a 45-page letter calling on the US to cancel the plans, attaching rental contracts between British Mandate authorities and Palestinian families who temporarily leased their land to the British, and that land made up part of the Allenby Barracks military base.
The land was confiscated by the “Israeli” government under the Absentees' Property Law, which grants the entity the power to confiscate and impound Palestinian properties and assets that they were forced to leave behind during the Nakba.
The land is now registered to the “Israeli” entity and leased to the US, according to The Intercept.
The Nakba, or "the catastrophe", is the name Palestinians gave to the forced expulsion they endured at the hands of Zionist militias in 1948, when an estimated 15,000 indigenous Palestinians were killed and some 800,000 displaced.
Adalah additionally said in a statement on Monday that the 1950 “Israeli” Absentees’ Property Law is "one of the most arbitrary, sweeping, discriminatory, and draconian law[s] enacted" in the “Israeli” entity.
"The law was drafted with racist motives and its sole purpose was to expropriate the assets of Palestinians – both refugees and internally displaced persons," Adalah said.
The call on Monday was made on behalf of the Palestinian families whose land was seized. Adalah said that the State Department has not given them a response since sending the first letter in November.
Earlier this month, State Department spokesperson Ned Price was asked about the US plans for the embassy compound during a press conference.
Price responded by saying "we're currently considering two options for our future embassy facility in Jerusalem [al-Quds]. One of the options is the Allenby site and the other is in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem [al-Quds],” Price said.