Omar jumps on bandwagon after IDF prevents latest Palestinian attempt to take over land on army firing range.
By World Israel News Staff
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Friday accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” in response to news reports the IDF had demolished what was revealed to be temporary Palestinian structures that were built illegally in an army firing range.
Omar tweeted her response to an AFP story on Wednesday that alleged Israel destroyed a “Palestinian village” in the Jordan Valley.
The “village” was revealed by activists to have been an ongoing land grab bid by the Palestinian Authority using funds from European donor countries to build structures without the required permits on land it knew was an IDF firing range.
“This a grave crime—in direct violation of international law. If they used any U.S. equipment it also violates U.S. law,” Omar tweeted. “The United States of America should not be bankrolling ethnic cleansing. Anywhere.”
The Israeli watchdog group Regavim said Thursday that the alleged village of Khirbet Humsa did not really exist and was created as part of a longstanding attempt by the Palestinians to seize land it had previously agreed would be under Israeli control.
Middle East analyst David Collier, who tracks Palestinian propaganda, noted that although the village name is given as Khirbet Humsa, there are only pictures of some smashed tents and temporary structures, but no pictures of a destroyed village or any infrastructure one would normally find.
“If you do a quick historic search of ‘Khirbet Humsa’, you soon realize this small gathering of tents has been a politicized battleground for decades,” Collier said.
“The PA is using these people as pawns in order to control this territory,” Regavim spokeswoman Naomi Kahn said Thursday, noting that similar tactics are used against other IDF training areas in Judea and Samaria.
Collier noted that the same group of Palestinians took their case to Israel’s Supreme Court, normally sympathetic to such issues.
However, the court tossed the case out. While “Israeli military law forbids the expulsion of permanent residents’ from a firing zone, the High Court ruled that “Khirbet Humsa’s residents did not meet that standard,” Collier said.
“The high Court decided that ‘the petitioners have no recognized property rights in these areas. These are intruders who use these areas for grazing’,” he added.