01:00 GMT +323 March 2017
    Palestinian women watch on as an Israeli army bulldozer with a demolition permit pulls down a house in the West Bank.

    US Slams 'Provocative' Israel Following Demolition of Palestinian Shelters

    © AFP 2017/ Hazem Bader
    Middle East
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    The US has slammed Israel's "provocative" razing of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank, saying the demolition of the five structures "raises serious questions" about Israel's commitment to peace.

    The US State Department said it had been "troubled" by the latest razing of three EU-funded shelters and two other buildings in the Palestinian village of Umm el-Kheir, in the South Hebron Hills.

    "We remain concerned about the increased demolition of Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which reportedly have left dozens of Palestinians homeless, including children," spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said.

    ​The village, which is near the Israeli settlement of Carmel, is located in Area C of the West Bank, meaning locals are confronted with strict construction guidelines, while the area is also under constant control from the Israeli military.

    Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem said 27 people, including 16 minors, were now homeless as a result of the demolitions, with many of them among those who had lost their homes during previous demolitions in the same village.

    ​Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was hugely critical of the latest developments.

    "Israel is relentlessly destroying Palestinians' homes and livelihoods in order to make way for more illegal settlements," he said.

    "Once again, I call on the international community to step in and stop Israel's ongoing violations of international law."

    A Palestinian man walks amidst debris after Israeli authorities demolished a building in the village of Sebastia, near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on August 9, 2016
    © AFP 2017/ Jaafar Ashtiyeh
    A Palestinian man walks amidst debris after Israeli authorities demolished a building in the village of Sebastia, near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on August 9, 2016

    Growing Tension Over Demolitions, Settlements

    The issue of destroying Palestinian structures in the occupied territories has been an issue of friction between Israel and its western allies, with the EU and US denouncing such actions, while calling for a halt in the construction of further Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

    In July, B'Tselem said Israel had destroyed more Palestinian homes in the first six months of 2016 than in 2015, claiming 740 Palestinians had been displaced.

    ​The tension also led to a diplomatic standoff between Israel and the EU, after officials in Brussels required all products coming from the occupied territories to be labeled as such when being sold in European markets.

    However, not all have criticized the latest demolitions, with local Jewish councilors arguing the buildings should have been taken down as they had not adhered to licensing laws.

    ​"I hope this signals the beginning of a new trend because until now the message sent by Israel's reluctance to enforce the law was that this kind of construction was approved of. This brought about an increase in the scope of illegal construction by the Arabs," Head of the Har Hevron Regional Council, Yochai Damar, said.

    "We can't have such blatantly selective enforcement. We in Har Hevron have been dealing with a construction freeze for over a year now. Every pipe and every caravan are put under the most exacting legal microscope while right next to us there are people who build whatever and whenever they want in open contempt for the law," he added.


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    Middle East, two-state solution, Jewish settlements, demolition, Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdallah, Palestine, Israel, West Bank
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    • avatar
      Negro Boy
      Obviously, if you order the execution of prisoners or the murder of critics by those who are under your command, then you are at least as guilty as those who carry out your orders. In Muhammad’s case, the number of people that he had murdered were literally too many for historians to fully know.

      There were the men taken prisoner at Badr (including one who cried out for his children at the point of execution), a mother of five (stabbed to death for questioning Muhammad’s claim to be a prophet), dozens of Jewish citizens, including poets and merchants who were accused of mocking Islam, numerous adulterers, at least one slave girl, 800 Qurayza men and boys taken captive and beheaded on Muhammad’s order, a Qurayza woman made delirious by the execution of her family, and an unfortunate individual who was tortured to death so that the prophet of Islam could discover his hidden treasure and then “marry” his freshly-widowed wife.

      Indirectly, Muhammad is also responsible for the millions upon millions of people who have been slaughtered down through the centuries by those carrying on his legacy of Jihad. Not only did he kill, he is truly one of the bloodiest figures in history.
    • Abinico Arts
      The solution is simple: all the USA has to do is stop aid to israhell - or at the very least tell them, hey this is the reality: stop persecution of Palestinians or we'll stop your US dollar aid. But that will never happen, will it, the USA is owned, operated, and controlled by the jews.
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