UN has ‘serious concerns’ over home demolitions 22Dec10 December 23, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  22nd December 2010

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Jerusalem told reporters Wednesday that the displacement of a Jerusalem family whose home was demolished the day before “raises serious concerns with regard to Israel’s obligations under international law.”

The UN’s Maxwell Gaylard, issued a statement after visiting the family of 13 whose home in the Ras Al Amud neighborhood of East Jerusalem was torn down on Tuesday by order of the municipality of Jerusalem, under the Israeli government.

The past week has seen two other home demolitions in East Jerusalem, in the neighborhood of Sur Baher and the village of Nu’man. Addressing what other UN officials called a “sharp increase” in home demolitions during the week, a monitors report recorded the demolitions in Jerusalem and another 43 in areas of the West Bank.

The statement from the UN office said the incidents “are a manifestation of the increase in such demolitions in 2010,” during which 396

Palestinian structures were demolished in East Jerusalem and other areas under full Israeli control in the West Bank. This compares to 275 in the previous year – an increase of almost 45 %. As a result this year, 561 people have been displaced, including 280 children, and the livelihoods of over 3,000 people have also been affected.

“These actions have a severe social and economic impact on the lives and welfare of Palestinians and increase their dependence on humanitarian assistance. The position of the United Nations remains that the Government of Israel must take immediate steps to cease demolitions and evictions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” Gaylard said.

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