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Campaigners urge Israeli architects not to design 'illegal' settlements

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UK-based pressure group Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) has intensified its campaign against Israeli designers' involvement in what it claims is the illegal construction of settlements in Palestinian territory.

The organisation, run by Abe Hayeem, has published a half-page petition in The Times opposing three major projects which, it argues, symbolise Israel's 'unethical' seizure of Palestinian land.

Leading lights such as Will Alsop, RIBA president Jack Pringle, Terry Farrell, George Ferguson, Paul Hyett and Ted Cullinan have already added their names to the campaign.

The petition urges Israeli architects and planners to reject involvement in the design and construction of projects at Silwan, Ma'ale Adumim and Lifta, which it claims will result in the illegal destruction of Palestinian communities.

The fresh assault comes weeks after APJP announced it was considering calling for an economic boycott of Israel's construction industry.

APJP states: 'We call on the Israeli Association of United Architects to adhere to the UIA codes of conduct, and end the participation of their members and fellow professionals in creating 'facts on the ground' to obliterate the idea of a viable future Palestinian state.'

It adds: 'APJP asserts that the actions of Israeli architects and planners working in conjunction with this enterprise are unethical and contravene professional codes of conduct and UIA codes.'

To see the petition, visit www.apjp.org

by Clive Walker

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