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EU calls on Israel to stop demolitions in East Jerusalem

January 20, 2022 at 4:22 pm

Israeli bulldozers tear down a Palestinian house in East Jerusalem, on 10 August 2021 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The European Union has urged Israel to halt demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem, calling the displacement of Palestinians illegal under international law, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The EU urged Israel not to proceed with its plan to construct 1,450 settlement-housing units between Har Homa and Givat Hamatos, according to a statement issued late Wednesday night by Peter Stano, the lead spokesperson for the bloc’s diplomatic service.

“Settlement expansion, demolitions and evictions are illegal under international law,” he said.

He called the increasing number of demolitions and evictions in the West Bank a “worrying trend” and stressed that the possibility of further evictions of Palestinian families would fuel tensions.

Israel’s construction plan “would further undermine the possibility of Jerusalem serving as the future capital of both States and to halt all settlement activities,” he added.

READ: Israeli authorities halt eviction order of Sheikh Jarrah home amid local, international pressure

On Wednesday, Israeli authorities demolished the Saliyeh family’s home after forced eviction in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

The family said they had lived in the home since 1948, after being expelled from the Ein Karen neighbourhood of West Jerusalem.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as an occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

Like Turkey and much of the international community, the EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since 1967.

Since 2001, the bloc has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activities and to dismantle the already existing ones.