Friday, November 17, 2017

European Union denounces Jerusalem demolition


By Ruairi Henchy - March 11, 2015
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [House Demolition] [Human rights] [European Union] [Jerusalem municipality] [Jerusalem] [Issawiya]

Israeli forces demolished an EU-funded shelter in the Issawiya neighborhood of Jerusalem on Tuesday, March 10.

Bulldozers escorted by military personnel arrived to the Palestinian neighbourhood early Tuesday morning and demolished the shelter and a number of stone walls, barns and storehouses used by local farmers, Mohammed Abu el-Hummus told Ma’an.

“We condemn today's demolition of temporary shelters funded by the European Union... as part of its response to the needs of the affected communities,” the EU said in statement released on Tuesday as reported by AFP.

The shelter was located in an area in which Israel has slated 740 dunums (approx. 182 acres) of privately owned Palestinian land for confiscation under the controversial “National Park” plan.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), claimed in a 2013 statement that the Israeli planning and district committee’s National Park plan outlined that the site must appear as an open area due to its strategic and archaeological significance, and that the area constitutes an integral part of “the Israeli cultural heritage.”

The PCHR statement went on to say that “the park will surround Palestinian neighborhoods... [and] deepen the housing crisis of Palestinians in East Jerusalem… The Israeli authorities’ attempt to increase the shortage of Palestinian housing units in Jerusalem, and routine refusal to grant building permits creates social, psychological and economical problems in the affected communities.”

PCHR called for international intervention in 2013 to stop Israel’s settlement activities in occupied East Jerusalem, emphasizing that they constitute war crimes under international law. Nonetheless, Tuesday’s demolition illustrates that the National Park plan continues to be implemented.

In a May 2011 report, the Jerusalem Legal aid and Human Rights Center said that Israel’s policy of planning and zoning in Area C, including East Jerusalem, “is used to employ calculated methods against the growth of the Palestinian civilian population by constraining them within limited areas...”

Separately, the Israeli military demolished a recently completed factory and a number of livestock barns near Jenin in the northern West Bank on Wednesday March 11, Ma’an reported.

The buildings were all located in Area C of the West Bank, the 60 percent or so of the West Bank that falls under full Israeli civil and military control. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the occupied territories, B’Tselem, says that in Area C, “Israel practically bans Palestinian construction and development.”

 

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