Israel has torn down more than 81 buildings in East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.
“The escalation of demolitions has been accompanied by an increase in the risks of evacuating hundreds of Palestinians from their homes where they have lived for decades in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Silwan town for the benefit of Israeli settlers,” Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Fadi Al-Hadmi said in a statement released by his office.
His remarks came during his meeting with representatives of South American countries accredited to the State of Palestine at his office during which he informed them of the “serious situation” in Jerusalem.
The meeting was attended by the ambassadors of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico.
“He [Al-Hadmi] also warned of the planned demolition of dozens of houses in al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan town,” the statement said, adding that the minister briefed the diplomats on “the dangers of the Israeli project called the East Jerusalem Center, which targets the most important commercial, cultural and population centers in East Jerusalem.”
Israeli authorities have recently announced plans to demolish dozens of Palestinian homes in al-Bustan and Batin al-Hawa neighborhoods in Silwan.
International law regards both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.