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23 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 July, 2019 09:18:54 PM
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Israel demolishes Palestinian homes in Jerusalem area

The Palestinian govt said the demolitions were a breach of all agreements they signed with Israel
AFP, Palestinian Territories
Israel demolishes Palestinian homes in Jerusalem area
This picture taken from the West Bank yesterday shows Israeli security forces tearing down one of the Palestinian buildings still under construction which have been issued notices to be demolished in the Wadi al-Hummus area adjacent to the Palestinian village of Sur Baher in East Jerusalem. AFP photo

Israel began demolishing a number of Palestinian homes it considers illegal south of Jerusalem early yesterday, in a move which has drawn international concern.

The Palestinians immediately slammed the demolitions in the Sur Baher area which straddles the West Bank and Jerusalem, but Israeli defended the move as essential to its security.

Before dawn, hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers sealed off at least four buildings in the area close to the Israeli security barrier which cuts off the occupied West Bank, an AFP journalist said.

Reporters were prevented from reaching the buildings while residents and activists were dragged out of the homes. Earthmovers then began demolishing at least three multi-story buildings, of which two were still under construction, the journalist said. One man yelled “I want to die here”, after being forced out. Ismail Abadiyeh, who lives in one of the buildings under threat with his family, said they would be left homeless. “We will be on the street,” he told AFP.

Israel says the buildings were built too close to the separation barrier that it built to stop attacks from the West Bank. Palestinians accuse Israel of using security as a pretext to force them out of the area as part of long-term efforts to expand settlements and roads linking them. They also point out that most of the buildings are located in areas meant to be under Palestinian Authority civilian control under the agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli governments.

The Palestinian government said the demolitions were a breach of all agreements they signed with Israel.

“What is painfully happening here is the biggest and most dangerous demolition operation outside of war operations,” Walid Asaf, the Palestinian minister in charge of monitoring Israeli settlements, said in a video from the site. “This operation aims to cut off Jerusalem from Bethlehem (in the southern West Bank),” he added.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan accused the Palestinians of “lies”, stressing the demolition was validated by the state’s top court after a lengthy process.

“The structures were built illegally next to the security fence and constitute a risk to the lives of the civilians and security forces,” Erdan cited the supreme court ruling in a tweet, noting the demolitions were due to be completed within the day.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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