UK Concerned over Israel Demolition Drive
10 Apr 09 | PTV
Britain is concerned at Israel’s razing of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem (al-Quds), advising a joint Palestinian-Israeli ownership of the holy city.
“We view with real concern the proposed demolitions in east Jerusalem (al-Quds),” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Thursday at joint news conference with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh in Amman.
Miliband further stressed that Jerusalem should be the capital of both the Palestinians and Israelis.
The remark comes amid Israel’s continuous eviction of Palestinians from their houses in east Jerusalem in the West Bank, where growing Israeli settlements are encroaching upon the occupied Palestinian territories.
In the most recent of the cases, Israel forced hundreds of Palestinians to leave their homes in February, and warned 90 houses would be torn down claiming that that they were “illegal.”
Some 25,000 Palestinians currently live in the eastern Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel during the six-day war in 1967. The eastern Jerusalem was later annexed by the Israeli regime despite international opposition.
According to the Palestinian Authority officials, the destruction of Palestinian houses in the West Bank would leave some 1,500 people homeless — the highest deprivation of the Palestinians of their properties and land since 1967.
Miliband described the situation on the ground in Jerusalem as very dangerous and like a powder keg which could crack deep divisions among people.
Meanwhile, Israeli media say that the new US administration has sent a letter to the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem and protested against a planned demolition of Palestinian homes in Silwan neighborhood.
Silwan in east Jerusalem is adjacent to al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the oldest Islamic structure in the world, where Israelis have been excavating a huge hole under the pretext of archaeological studies.