The operations concern the area of Sur Baher, on the southern outskirts of the holy city, conquered in the 1967 war. The buildings stand near the protective wall that surrounds the West Bank. For Palestinians, Israel continues to use the pretext of security to expropriate land and expand.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In the early hours of this morning, Israel began demolishing numerous Palestinian homes in a suburb [which Israel itself considers illegal] south of Jerusalem. The dwellings rise near a military barrier in the first outskirts of the holy city; the killings have raised the protest of the Palestinians and of various international organizations.
Local sources report that since the dawn hundreds of police and Israeli military personnel have sealed at least four buildings in the area of Sur Baher, not far from the wall surrounding the West Bank. At the end of the operations, a digger started to raze two buildings still under construction.
Sur Baher is a small Palestinian village on the edge of East Jerusalem, an area conquered and occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. Palestinians fear that the operations of clearing houses and buildings along the barrier [the Apartheid wall, for the Palestinians] will set a precedent for other towns and villages along the fence path, which runs for hundreds of kilometers in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli authorities prevented access to journalists, while residents and local activists were forcibly dragged outside the homes. A man was picked up shouting "I want to die here".
For the Palestinians, Israel continues to use the pretext of security to expropriate land and pursue the policy of expanding settlements along the roads that connect them, effectively preventing the birth of a future united state. They also point out that most of the buildings are located in areas intended for the control of the Palestinian civil authority, based on agreements between the two governments.
According to reports by the UN agency for Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), the eviction and demolition notice - communicated by Israel on 18 June after the court's decision - concerns at least 10 buildings already completed or under construction, for a total of about 70 apartments. Following operations at least 17 people will remain homeless and another 350 may be affected in various capacities.
According to local sources, there would be another 100 buildings in the area at risk of being killed. For the Palestinians it is increasingly difficult to obtain building permits from the Israeli authorities; activists and humanitarian workers say that the result of these policies is a serious lack of housing for the Palestinians, who risk being left homeless.