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EU urges Israel to 'immediately' stop Palestinian home demolition

July 22, 2019
A member of the Israeli border police stands guard in front of buildings demolished by Israel in the West Bank village of Dar Salah in the area of Sur Bahir east Jerusalem, on JMonday. — AFP
A member of the Israeli border police stands guard in front of buildings demolished by Israel in the West Bank village of Dar Salah in the area of Sur Bahir east Jerusalem, on JMonday. — AFP

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Monday urged Israel to immediately halt the razing of Palestinian homes on the edge of Jerusalem, saying it undermined hope for a lasting peace in the region.

"In line with the EU's long-standing position, we expect the Israeli authorities to immediately halt the ongoing demolitions," said a spokesman for the EU's foreign policy arm, which represents the bloc's 28 member states.

"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."

Israel earlier Monday bulldozed a number of Palestinian homes it considers illegal south of Jerusalem.

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

The EU backed the Palestinian view that in the land in question, according to the Oslo peace accords, "all civil issues are under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority."

But Israel says the buildings were built too close to the separation barrier that it built in the early 2000s 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.

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


July 22, 2019
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