EU calls on Israel to immediately stop demolishing Palestinian homes | News -

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The European Union demanded on Monday (22 July 2019) that Israel immediately stop "illegal" demolitions of Palestinian homes near East Jerusalem. "In line with the EU's long-standing position, we expect the Israeli authorities to immediately stop the ongoing demolitions," said Maya Kujiangik, spokeswoman for EU Foreign Minister Federica Mugherini. "The Israeli settlement policy and its measures, such as forced evictions, eviction, demolition and confiscation of housing, are illegal from the point of view of international law"He said.

"Continuing this policy undermines the two-state solution and the possibility of achieving a lasting peace and seriously undermines the possibility that Jerusalem will become the future capital of the two states," Kujiangik said.

"Most of the buildings are located in Areas A and B of the West Bank, where the Oslo Accords have made civilian status within the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority"He said.

Large numbers of Israeli army forces began demolishing houses in Wad al-Homs area in the town of Sur Bahir, southeast of Jerusalem. The residents received a notification from the Israeli authorities on 18 June, giving them 30 days before the demolition order was implemented.

Israel says that the demolished buildings were built very close to the separation fence, which began in 2002, after the second intifada, which witnessed a lot of violence, in order to stop the infiltration of attackers from the West Bank to its territory. Palestinians accuse Israel of using security as a pretext to force them to leave the area and work on settlement expansion and open roads linking the settlements.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Israeli decision includes 10 buildings, some under construction, displacing 17 people and affecting 350 others. Residents fear that another 100 buildings in the area will be at risk of demolition in the near future.

For his part, Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Arad said on Twitter that the demolition of houses "is based on the decision of the largest court in Israel." Adding that the court found that "the buildings were built illegally next to the security fence, and pose a threat to the lives of citizens and security forces (Israeli)"He said.

"When an illegal building constitutes a security threat, Israel is also authorized, under the Oslo Accords, to impose the law against it," Erdogan told EU spokesmen."He said.

The Palestinian presidency looms with "fateful" decisions"

For its part, the Palestinian government considered that the demolitions "constitute a breach of all agreements signed with Israel." The head of the "resistance wall and settlement" Palestinian Minister Walid Assaf from the site, "what is happening here painful," considering that "the demolition of a war crime." "The operation is aimed at isolating Jerusalem from Bethlehem in the southern West Bank"He said.

The Palestinian presidency on Monday made "fateful" decisions on the relationship with Israel. Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said that "the leadership will hold a series of important meetings in the coming days, in response to the demolitions carried out by the occupying Power, Israel, in south-east Jerusalem and the continuing violations in the Palestinian territory"He said.

Abu Rudeineh said, according to the official Palestinian News Agency (Wafa), that "the leadership will take during these meetings crucial decisions on the relationship with Israel and the agreements signed with it"He said.

He said that President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly warned that the Palestinian side can not continue to abide by the agreements signed with Israel if it remains determined not to abide by them, stressing the need for all to assume their responsibilities, including Israel as an occupying power..

Palestinian factions and activists issued statements condemning Israel's commencement of the demolition.

Wad al-Homs is an extension of the town of Sur Baher on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem. Its land area is about 3,000 dunums. Israel has prevented the Palestinian population from building on half of the area..

(AFP)

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