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EU condemns Israel’s demolition of community leader’s home in East Jerusalem

February 15, 2024 at 7:09 pm

Fakhri Abu Diyab, Jerusalem researcher and member of the Silwan Land Defense Board speaks during an exclusive interview at the Silwan neighborhood, as the Israeli forces bulldoze his house in Jerusalem on February 14, 2024. [Saeed Qaq – Anadolu Agency]

The EU on Thursday condemned Israel’s demolition of a community leader’s home in East Jerusalem, Anadolu reports.

“The European Union condemns the demolition of community leader Fakhri Abu Diab’s home in East Jerusalem, where his family had resided for generations,” an EU statement said, adding that such acts are in violation of international humanitarian law.

These acts, the statement said, “undermine efforts to advance durable and lasting peace and security, which both Palestinians and Israelis deserve.”

It called on Israel to stop demolishing Palestinian homes, “including in this sensitive area adjacent to the Old City.”

Calling for de-escalating “a very tense situation,” the statement said: “The continuation of Israel’s settlement policy, including demolitions and expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is a grave violation of international law and undermines efforts for peace.”

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Israeli forces on Tuesday tore down Fakhri Abu Diab’s house, a member of a local land committee in Silwan town in occupied East Jerusalem.

“Israeli municipal authorities claim that Palestinians homes were built without permits, but the fact is that they do not grant permits for the Palestinians to build their homes,” Abu Diab told Anadolu, adding that the demolition order for his house was given 15 years ago.

Abu Diab was known as a Palestinian researcher who has been advocating for Palestinians’ rights whose houses were at risk of demolition. He has been living in that house for 35 years with nine other family members including his spouse and married children.

He said the Israeli demolition policy is part of government efforts to obliterate the Palestinian presence in Silwan and 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.

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