[Jerusalem – February 13 2014] Palestinian activists held a protest in front of the European Union office, in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, demanding an end to the illegitimate Israeli policies of displacement and demolition of Palestinian homes, and handed the EU office a letter in this regard.The protesters said that Israel is ongoing with its policies aiming at displacing the Palestinians, and revoking their ID cards, in direct violation of International Law.
They held signs and chanted slogans denouncing Israel’s actions of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, eyewitnesses said.
Some protesters met deputy EU ambassadors in Jerusalem, explaining the suffering and ongoing harassment they face in the occupied city, and called on the EU to adopt an active position in protecting the Palestinian masses.
They also thanked the EU for its role in the region, but said that the EU needs to take active measures and decisions which ensure the protection of Palestinians, their lands and property in Palestine.
“The crimes against the Jerusalemite Palestinians are impacting every aspect of their lives, especially home demolition policies, this is happening amidst a weak Palestinian Authority, a weak and collapsing Arab countries”, the letter reads.
“There is no real Arab and Islamic support to Jerusalem, it is essential for all Palestinians to unite, for all factions and groups to take firm positions, to unite and counter the illegitimate Israeli measures targeting the very existence of the Palestinian people in the city.”
Head of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER), Ziad al-Hammoury, said that Israel has escalated its destruction of Palestinian homes and property, demolishing 15 homes and structures since the beginning of this year.
He added that Israel has plans to demolish more than 20,000 Palestinian homes in the occupied city, allegedly for being built without construction permits.
Rasem Obeidat, member of National and Civil Actions Committee in Jerusalem, stated that the world must be informed, must know about the ongoing crimes and violations carried out by the occupation against the Palestinians.
“The world needs to stop its soft tone with Israel, it must hold Tel Aviv accountable for its crimes, must act on stopping Israel’s violations against the Palestinian people”, he said. “Encouraged by this deadly silence, Israel continues to escalate its violation of basic human rights, and International Law.”
On his part, Communication and Information Officer at the EU office, Shadi Othman, said that the letter, which was handed to the EU by the protesters, will be handed to the EU headquarters in Brussels.
Othman said that the EU will be discussing the issue during its upcoming meetings, and affirmed that he considers East Jerusalem as an occupied Palestinian city, and that the EU rejects the Israeli violations, including home demolitions and settlement activities.
Deputy Jerusalem Governor, Abdullah Siyam, said Israel attacked all national Palestinian institutions to prevent them from providing support to the Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, and added that his office grants to owners of demolished homes amounts of money which helps them pay for renting homes in the city for two years.
“We all need to act, and counter the Israeli violations, we must organize our activities and expose the ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people”, he said. “Israel is a racist state that aims at removing all Palestinians from Jerusalem, it wants to replace them with settlers.”