Israel to Judaize More of al-Quds
16 Apr 09 | PTV
Israel is to demolish some 90 houses in mainly Arab east al-Quds in a move that will deprive more than 1,500 Palestinians of their homes.
Israel in February had ordered hundreds of Palestinians living in eastern al-Quds to evacuate their houses, claiming they had pursued “illegal construction”.
The decision drew Palestinian ire. Scores of people in the West Bank later took part in a general strike, protesting Israel’s decision to demolish the houses in the village of Silwan near al-Quds (Jerusalem) to empty space for a national park.
According to Hatem Abdul Qader, who handles the affairs for the Palestinian Authority in al-Quds, the ‘discriminatory plan’ has gathered considerable momentum since the appointment of new al-Quds (Jerusalem) mayor, Nir Barkat.
Palestinian officials say that if the demolitions go ahead, it would mark the largest destruction of Palestinian property in eastern al-Quds since 1967.
This is while the Czech presidency of the European Union in a statement reminded Tel Aviv of its obligations under international law.
“Demolition of houses in this sensitive area threatens the viability of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement, in conformity with international law,” reads the statement issued on behalf of the bloc’s 27 member states.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has also expressed concern over the plans to demolish scores of Palestinian houses in mainly Arab east al-Quds.
“We view with real concern the proposed demolitions in east Jerusalem. Jerusalem should be the capital of both the Palestinians and Israel,” Miliband said in Jordan on Thursday.
Israel captured the mostly Arab east al-Quds in 1967 and later annexed the part in a move not recognized by the international community.
Tel Aviv continues to erect new homes in the occupied Palestinian territory despite strong opposition from the international community.
Some Muslim states and also Palestinians insist that there will be no peace in the Middle East until Israel quits eastern al-Quds and allows it to become the capital of an independent Palestinian state.