New plans by the Israelis to demolish 20 family homes in East Jerusalem have been strongly criticised by the UN and the US State department.
UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, described the construction projects as: “Useless and illegal." He said: “The demolition activities and the related settlements planned in the area of Silwan challenge international laws and the will of the resident Palestinians.” He added that Israel has committed “not to launch defiant actions that risk fueling tensions in the city”.
The criticisms come on the day after the municipality of Jerusalem has approved a preliminary plan to demolish 22 homes in the Silwan quarter to replace them with a recreational area. The US State Department described the plan as: “contrary to the progress of the next talks” between Israel and the National Palestinian Authority.
This evening, the Israeli right wing Likud party headed by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will come together to vote for the resumption of the occupation of the West Bank after a limited 10-month moratorium (on paper at least). The motion, backed by Netanyahu, provides for the resumption of building activity starting on September 26.
Local media reports that the prime minister would not be present during the vote, which could stop Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from resuming.