RAMALLAH, December 24 (JMCC) - The UN relief agency UNRWA
has condemned Israel
's demolition of homes in East Jerusalem
. The number of home demolitions in the area has increased by 45% this year.It said 396 buildings were razed in 2010, compared with 275 last year, in occupied East Jerusalem and other West Bank areas under Israeli control.
As a result, 561 Palestinians - including 280 children - were displaced, it said.
Israel's interior ministry says it has the right to demolish homes that are built without Israeli permission.
Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since 1967. An estimated 200,000 settlers live there, alongside 250,000 Palestinians.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed this month over Israel's refusal to stop building homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank, where settlements take up some 40% of the Palestinian territory.
I call on the Israeli authorities to cease demolitions and evictions in occupied areas which are in contravention of Israel's obligations under international law, UNRWA's West Bank Field Director, Barbara Shenstone, said in a statement.
more at the BBC…