UN chief slams Silwan plan
LAST UPDATED: 06/24/2010 05:12
Ban Ki-moon calls J'lem demolitions illegal and provocative.
Silwan Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post)
A Jerusalem planning body's approval of a plan to demolish 22
Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem to make room for an Israeli tourist
center would be illegal, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.
Ban's office issued a statement saying the planned demolitions in the area of Silwan were "contrary to international law, and to the wishes of Palestinian
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Ban's statement said "the current moves
are unhelpful" because they do not help build trust to support
It said Israel's government has a
"responsibility to ensure provocative steps are not taken" that would
heighten tensions in the city.
plan, which passed an initial hearing in the
municipality’s Local Planning and Construction Committee on Monday,
the El- Bustan, or Gan Hamelech (King’s Garden), section of the
where 88 homes that were built without proper permits and are considered
by the city will be divided into two groups and either retroactively
or demolished to make way for the restoration of parkland – for which
area was originally zoned.
While officials at City Hall have
that the plan is aimed at improving the residents’ quality of life, and
number of individual agreements have already been hammered out with
families living in El-Bustan, the announcement of demolitions has
ratcheted up already simmering tensions in the area. It has also
Palestinian Authority officials, who have denounced the plan and said it
“threatens to harm US efforts to promote proximity talks.”
Abe Selig contributed to this report
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