PA: Home demolitions in Jerusalem are 'a massacre'

Palestinian Authority calls on international community to pressure Israel to stop demolition of homes in eastern Jerusalem.

Dalit Halevi ,

Israeli forces demolish illegal Arab apartment buildings in Sur Baher, Jerusalem
Israeli forces demolish illegal Arab apartment buildings in Sur Baher, Jerusalem

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Monday condemned the demolition by IDF forces of the illegal structures in Wadi al Hummus in the Sur Baher neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.

"This is a crime of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities on Monday morning against 16 buildings containing nearly 10 housing units in Wadi al-Hummus in the village of Sur Baher, south of the occupied city of Al-Quds," the PA said.

The office of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas called on the international community "to take responsibility and provide international protection to the Palestinian people and to bring to justice the leaders of the occupation for their crimes."

An official statement said that "this is a process that is being carried out as part of the implementation of the ‘Deal of the Century’ which aims to eliminate the Palestinian issue."

"This is an Israeli massacre, and the chairman of the Palestinian Authority has already contacted a number of international elements to intervene immediately and bring an end to Israeli aggression," the statement said.

Israeli forces on Monday morning sealed off and began demolishing ten of the over 100 illegally-built structures erected in defiance of a 2011 Israeli Civil Administration order barring construction near the security fence.

The apartment buildings were built in the Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood of Sur Baher, an Arab enclave located almost entirely in Jerusalem.

The strip of land in Wadi al-Hummus area where the illegal structures are located, however, is just outside of the municipal borders of Jerusalem, but on the Jerusalem side of the security fence.

The European Union formally condemned Israel for the demolition of the illegal Arab buildings, saying said the demolitions undermine the “viability of the two-state solution”.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan defended the demolition of the illegal Arab apartment buildings, saying the structures were built too close to the security barrier, and could be used as a haven for terrorists.