DAYS OF PALESTINE – JERUSALEM
‘Israel must halt its demolition of Palestinian homes’, the United States and other members of the UN Security Council declared after Israel razed two homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah early Wednesday morning.
“To make progress, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority must refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions.” the US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council.
This includes “demolitions, and evictions – like what we saw in Sheikh Jarrah,” she told the UNSC at its monthly meeting in New York.
Other council members took a harsher tone.
Ireland’s Ambassador to the UN Geraldine Byrne Nason said that what happened in Sheikh Jarrah was “part of an ongoing pattern of demolitions, evictions and settlement expansion across the West Bank including east Jerusalem, which continues apace.
“These actions have severe humanitarian consequences. And, this incident, in particular, threatens the fragile status quo in Jerusalem and risks increasing violence,” she said.
“International Humanitarian Law, and in particular, the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibits the unnecessary destruction of private property.
“Once again, we call on Israel, as the occupying power, to fulfil its obligations towards this community and to cease its harmful practice of evictions and demolitions of Palestinian property,” Nason said.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt who chaired the meeting said, “Last night, another Palestinian family was evicted from their home in east Jerusalem. This must stop!.”
The United Kingdom, Mexico and Russia were among the members that spoke out about the issue. After the meeting the two European Union members of the UNSC issued a statement against the demolitions. They were joined by former UNSC member Estonia.
After a two-day standoff, Israeli occupation authorities on Wednesday forcefully evicted Salhia family from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem and demolished it.
Israeli occupation forces broke into Mahmoud Salhia’s house, beat and detained all family members, along with other supporters, before demolishing two houses.