- Israel Begins Destroying Palestinian Homes on Jerusalem al-Quds Outskirts
Israeli forces have begun destroying homes on the outskirts of the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, despite international condemnation and mass protests.
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police stormed Sur Baher early on Monday and declared the village a military zone, banning journalists from entering. “Since 2 am they have been evacuating people from their homes by force and they have started planting explosives in the homes they want to destroy,” said Hamada Hamada, a community leader in Sur Baher.
Palestinian and international activists, who tried to stop the demolition, were present in the scene and filmed and photographed the work. Adnan Gheith, the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem al-Quds, criticized the demolitions as a war crime.
In June, Israel’s supreme court rejected a petition by the owners to cancel the demolitions. A deadline for the residents to abandon the houses expired on Friday. Israel claims the owners had failed to obtain “building permits” from the regime.
The residents, however, say they did not need Israeli permission to build their homes because they had received approvals from the Palestinian Authority, which is tasked with running the West Bank’s affairs. The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Sunday called upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation into the Israeli regime’s mass demolitions in the neighborhood.