Archbishop Attallah Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in occupied Jerusalem, said that what Israel is doing against the Palestinians in the al-Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin community is an act of ethnic cleansing, part of Israelâ€™s illegal policies against the Palestinians.
His statements came during a meeting with the European Parliament fact-finding delegation that will be visiting al-Khan al-Ahmar, and several governorates in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.
The meeting took place in the Church of Holy Sepulcher, and the Cathedral, where he informed the delegates about the escalating illegal Israeli policies targeting the holy city, and changing its geography, demography and history.
â€śThe Palestinians continue to be marginalized, oppressed and targeted by illegal Israeli occupation policies, and its colonialist activities,â€ť Hanna said, â€śIsrael is ignoring the very existence of the indigenous Muslim and Christian population of the holy city, and is treating them as foreigners, strangers in their own homeland.â€ť
He added that Israel, and its illegal colonialist settlers, are also constantly targeting and desecrating the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and â€śsteeling Christian and Islamic property and lands, sometimes by illegal means, and other times through collaborators and mercenaries employed by the illegal occupation to serve its agenda against the Palestinians, and the holy sites.â€ť
On Thursday, the European parliament passed a resolution denouncing Israelâ€™s decision to demolish and displace the residents of al-Khan al-Ahmar, and calling it a breach of International Humanitarian Law, and a war crime.
It also demanded Israel to pay compensation for its destruction infrastructure, which was funded by the European Union in al-Khan al-Ahmar.