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UN official condemns massive increase in East Jerusalem house demolitions by Israel

A UN official has said that the Israeli occupation authorities have increased the number of house demolitions in Palestinian East Jerusalem by 45% in 2010 compared with 2009. Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, expressed his concern about this increase.

"In 2010 almost four hundred structures belonging to Palestinians were demolished in East Jerusalem and other areas under full Israeli control in the West Bank," said Mr. Gaylard. "As a result, 561 people have been displaced, including 280 children, and the livelihoods of over 3,000 people have also been affected."

Such actions, he continued, "have a severe social and economic impact on the lives and welfare of Palestinians and increase their dependence on humanitarian assistance. The position of the United Nations remains that the Government of Israel must take immediate steps to cease demolitions and evictions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

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