(July 23, 2019 / Israel Hayom and JNS staff) Hours after Israel began demolishing illegally built homes in eastern Jerusalem on Monday, the European Union harshly condemned the measure.
“Israeli authorities have proceeded with the demolition of 10 Palestinian buildings, containing some 70 apartments, in Wadi al Hummus, part of Sur Baher neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem,” the E.U. said in a statement.
The statement goes on to point out that the majority of these structures, unlike others Israel has demolished in eastern Jerusalem, are located in Area A and B of the West Bank, “where, according to the Oslo Accords, all civil issues are under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.”
The statement called on Israel to stop the “illegal” demolitions immediately, and claimed that Israel’s settlement policy was endangering the potential two-state solution in regards to any peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.
“Israel’s settlement policy, including actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes, is illegal under international law. In line with the E.U.’s long-standing position, we expect the Israeli authorities to immediately halt the ongoing demolitions,” read the statement. “The continuation of this policy undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace and seriously jeopardizes the possibility of Jerusalem serving as the future capital of both states.”
The demolitions capped a seven-year legal battle over the buildings, which Israel maintained posed a security risk as they were erected too close to the security fence. Residents argued that the buildings are in Area A, which is under the control of the P.A., which they said gave them construction permits.
A High Court of Justice ruling last month dismissed the Palestinian residents’ petition requesting that the military order prohibiting construction in the area be cancelled. Work crews began the demolition work early on Monday morning, completing it within hours.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.