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East Jerusalem home demolition

Israeli forces use bulldozers including a U.S.-made Caterpillar to destroy Palestinian homes in illegally occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo: jenniferlisa/Flickr/cc)

EU Joins Rights Group in Condemning Israel's 'Day of Destruction' of Palestinian Homes

"Demolitions are illegal under international law and significantly undermine the prospects for peace."

Brett Wilkins

The European Union on Friday joined a prominent Israeli human rights group in condemning last week's demolition of multiple homes in occupied East Jerusalem, an illegal action that displaced 22 Palestinians including 15 children.

"We reiterate our call to halt demolitions and any other unlawful practices that coerce Palestinians out of their homes," the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians (DPAL) tweeted.

"Demolitions are illegal under international law and significantly undermine the prospects for peace," DPAL added.

According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem:

At around 6:00 am [on November 23], civil administration personnel and border police officers arrived at the neighborhood of Wadi al-Humos, an eastern extension of Zur Baher in East Jerusalem. The forces bulldozed three buildings: a two-story building that was home to a family of five, including three minors, and a building that was home to one person. From there, the forces moved to the other side of the separation barrier and demolished a four-story building under construction that included three apartments.

"The wave of demolitions expresses the perception of the Israeli regime, which holds that land is a resource intended primarily to serve the Jewish population," B'Tselem said. "This regime uses a variety of administrative, planning, and bureaucratic tools to implement this concept. Governments come and go, but the apartheid regime remains untouched."

B'Tselem published a video of the "day of destruction":

In September, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that Israeli demolitions and seizures of Palestinian homes in the illegally occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem increased by 21% so far this year. The agency said that 28% more Palestinians were displaced during the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period last year.

The EU condemnation came a day after the Israeli government notified the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden that it was shelving a highly controversial plan to build 9,000 housing units for the exclusive use of ultra-Orthodox Jews on the site of what was formerly Jerusalem's international airport. According to Israeli media, the move was the result of pressure from the Biden administration.


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