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In UN speech, Britain urges Israel to end demolition of Palestinian homes

December 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

Palestinians watch the demolition of their home in the West Bank on 7 November 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

The British government has urged Israeli authorities to end the systematic demolition of Palestinian homes, in a statement delivered by Ambassador Karen Pierce at the United Nations Security Council.

Ambassador Pierce highlighted “the demolition of 16 small businesses in the Shuafat refugee camp on 21 November”, noting how “there are no valid term plans for the camp and this forces Palestinians to resort to building without permits.”

Britain is “also closely monitoring developments in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan where many hundreds of Palestinians are at risk of eviction”, the statement continued, a risk “exacerbated by recent Israeli legislative developments and court rulings”.

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The ambassador said Britain “will continue to support the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem…including through legal aid programs for those facing demolition or eviction.”

The statement welcomed “the temporary postponement of plans to demolish the Bedouin community of Khan Al-Ahmar” but expressed grave concern “about the fate of this community”.

“The United Nations has said this demolition could amount to forcible transfer in violation of International Humanitarian Law,” the ambassador told the Council.

“We look to the Israeli government to provide a clear transparent route for Palestinian construction to end the cycle of illegal building and demolitions,” the statement continued.