RAMALLAH, Friday, November 23, 2018 (WAFA) – Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hanan Ashrawi, condemned on Thursday the demolition by Israeli authorities of at least twenty Palestinian-owned shops and structures in the Shu‘fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem.
“Israel‘s strategy of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem has become an official policy,” Ashrawi said in a press release.
She continued, “With its deliberate intent of illegally eradicating the Palestinian identity, presence, narrative and history from the occupied city and replacing the indigenous population with extremist Jewish settlers, Israel has escalated its efforts to carry out the demolitions of Palestinian homes, businesses and structures throughout occupied Jerusalem.”
Ashrawi added that “Israel has been emboldened by the US administration‘s measures and policies to dismantle all permanent status issues, including occupied Jerusalem, the Palestinian refugees and the right of return, the two-state solution, the 1967 borders, and the legality of the settlements, thereby destroying the chances of a just peace and stability.”
Ashrawi refuted the Israeli government‘s claim that these businesses and structures in the Shu‘fat refugee camp were built without licenses as unwarranted. “Israel aims to create facts on the ground to geographically and demographically transform East Jerusalem, unlawfully removing Palestinians, in particular refugees, from the holy city and entrenching its occupation against the oppressed people of Palestine.”
“Such unabashed and systematic violations which are in direct breach of international law and international humanitarian law will only continue unless there is an immediate and serious intervention from members of the international community, including European countries.”
She concluded, “Since the US has disqualified itself to play any role in peacemaking, governments worldwide must hold the Israeli government to account with punitive measures and sanctions to send a strong message to Israel and its partners that complicity with the belligerent occupation and its war crimes will no longer be tolerated."”