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Thursday July 15, 2010 4:19 PM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, July 15 (JMCC) - Israel's policy of demolishing Palestinian homes is coming under increasing focus by the international community for its role in changing in the demographic reality in the city of Jerusalem.

Seth Freedman argues in the Guardian, that the world needs to take direction action immediately to prevent Israel from carrying out future demolitions.

In theory, a municipality demolishing illegal structures on its land should not raise any eyebrows. In practice, however, such a measure should be viewed in the context of the wider politics of the locality – and when it comes to the tinderbox of Israeli-Palestinian affairs, the Israeli authorities' actions should be seen for the provocative and spiteful behaviour that they are.

Ending a nine-month freeze on demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, municipal workers this week razed three houses in the area, provoking a storm of controversy both at home and abroad. The freeze came about as a result of diplomatic outrage last time Israel carried out demolitions in East Jerusalem during Hilary Clinton's visit to the region in March 2009 – actions described by Clinton as unhelpful and a violation of Israel's Road Map commitments.

Since then, Israel has continued to flout agreements for a moratorium on illegal construction in Israeli settlements, while continuing to pursue a hardline, heavy-handed approach towards Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Evictions of Palestinian families to make way for incoming settlers continue apace in Sheikh Jarrah; in Silwan, 22 homes are slated for demolition so that a landscaped public garden can be developed; and throughout the eastern half of the city nonstop pressure is applied as part of what activists term the policy of quiet transfer.

According to Angela Godfrey-Goldstein of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, the quiet transfer denotes the gradual wearing down of the Palestinians to the point that they throw their hands up in despair, quit the area and head east. Housing permits are also part of the quiet transfer, she says...

Read the full article at the Guardian...






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