The U.N.’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Jerusalem, Maxwell Gaylard claimed on Wednesday that the ongoing house demolitions in East Jerusalem ‘raise serious concerns with regard to Israel’s obligations under international law.” Gaylard visited the Ras Al Amoud neighborhood in East Jerusalem, in which a house was demolished on Tuesday by the order of Jerusalem’s municipality, and stressed that the 13 residents have not received an alternative residence option.

In a statement issued later, the U.N. official said that this incident was a ‘manifestation of the increase in such demolitions in 2010,’ as 396 Palestinian structures have been demolished in East Jerusalem and Arab areas that are under full Israeli control in the West Bank; this represents an increase of almost 45 %.

“These actions have a severe social and economic impact on the lives and welfare of Palestinians, and increase their dependence on humanitarian assistance.

The position of the United Nations remains that the Government of Israel must take immediate steps to cease demolitions and evictions in the West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem,” Gaylard concluded.