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Ashrawi condemns Israel's 'punitive' demolition of Palestinian shops

Nov. 23, 2018 2:10 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 25, 2018 12:17 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, condemned the demolition by Israeli authorities of at least 20 Palestinian-owned shops in the Shufat refugee camp, in occupied East Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces along with the Israeli Civil Administration staff and bulldozers stormed the Shufat refugee camp and carried out a demolition campaign, demolishing more than 20 Palestinian shops under the pretext that the shops were built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

Ashrawi said in a statement, “Israel's strategy of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem has become an official policy.”

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.”

“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,” she added.

Ashrawi debunked the Israeli government's claim that these businesses and structures in the Shufat refugee camp were built without permits 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.”

She stressed, “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.”

Ashrawi 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.”

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