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Germany condemns demolition of Palestinian homes

July 23, 2019

The Israeli demolitions in East Jerusalem were "particularly egregious," Germany said in a statement with other EU nations. But Israel has defended its actions, saying they were necessary "for reasons of security."

Smoke rises as Israeli forces begin to raze a building on the grounds that the building was close to the wire barriers
Image: picture-alliance/AA

Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom on Tuesday condemned the demolition of Palestinian buildings in East Jerusalem, saying they were "particularly egregious."

Israeli authorities demolished part of the Palestinian village Sur Baher, which lies in areas under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, on Monday.

"The practice causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process," said the group of EU member states. "They set a dangerous precedent that directly jeopardizes the two-state solution."

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'Reasons of security'

The European Union on Monday argued that the demolitions violate international law, saying it expects "the Israeli authorities to immediately halt the ongoing demolitions."

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"The continuation of this policy undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace," EU foreign policy spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.

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Israel has defended its actions, claiming that the 12 Palestinian buildings were illegally constructed near a partition barrier that separates parts of the West Bank from Israel.

"The demolitions were necessary for reasons of security," said acting Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nizar Amer. "Structures along the fence can provide cover to terrorists hiding among the civilian population and accordingly endanger the lives of civilians and security forces alike."

Under the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, parts of the occupied Palestinian Territories came under the jurisdiction of a civilian government called the Palestinian Authority.

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ls/amp (AFP, dpa)

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