Monday, January 17, 2011

European Union & UN Call for End to Forced Displacement of Palestinians

European Union officials and UN agencies in the occupied Palestinian territory are calling for international humanitarian law to be invoked to protect Palestinians in East Jerusalem from forced displacement.

UN, Palestinian Authority and EU officials say East Jerusalem is occupied territory, requiring protection of the civilian population by international humanitarian law, a legal framework which prohibits population transfer into and out of the territory.

Israel says property transfers in East Jerusalem are private transactions governed by Israeli local municipal law. Today East Jerusalem, annexed by Israel in 1967, is governed by Israeli basic law.

Between 5 and 11 January the Israeli authorities demolished five Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem because they did not have Israeli-issued building permits, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (

Because of inadequate zoning and planning for Palestinians, obtaining a building permit from the Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem is almost impossible, says OCHA. Restrictions prevent Palestinians from lawfully repairing or constructing homes, water systems and other necessary infrastructure. Meanwhile, there are at least 1,500 pending demolition orders in East Jerusalem, potentially affecting the livelihoods of thousands. 

Remind me, is this the Israel that today's Liberal Party so staunchly supports? 

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