Two State Index drops as tensions rise over demolitions

The index has dropped 0.9% following outrage over Israeli demolitions in the West Bank's Wadi Hummus neighborhood.

August 7, 2019 19:28
1 minute read.
Israeli forces patrol as a machinery demolishes a Palestinian house in the village of Sur Baher whic

Israeli forces patrol as a machinery demolishes a Palestinian house in the village of Sur Baher which sits on either side of the Israeli barrier in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. (photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)

The Geneva Initiative's monthly Two-State Index has dropped 0.9%, the Geneva Initiative reported Wednesday morning, following Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s calls to end the PA’s security coordination with the IDF due to the demolitions in the Wadi Hummus neighborhood of Sur Bahir in the West Bank.

Following a ruling made by the High Court of Justice, the IDF has demolished 12 structures in the area, which is controlled by the PA.

The campaign sparked international outrage.

The demolitions, were “extraordinary in their extent,” according to Amy Cohen, international relations administrator for the NGO Ir Amim (City of Peoples).

She added that “it is probably the first time the IDF has executed a destruction of this extent in an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority,” in that more than 70 housing units were demolished in a single day. She said it marks a “sharp increase” in IDF demolitions in the area.

Furthermore, a Palestinian family was evicted from its home in east Jerusalem on July 10 after a 30-year-long legal battle against Elad, an NGO supporting Jewish settlement.

Elad, which focuses on moving Israelis into Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, has been criticized by the PA and other pro-Palestinian NGOs such as B’Tselem for “cleansing” the city.

Following the demolitions, Abbas declared that the PA will terminate agreements with Israel, including the Oslo Accords and security coordination with the IDF.

Also last month, the security cabinet authorized the construction of more than 700 housing units for Palestinians in area C of the West Bank, which is controlled by the IDF’s Civil Administration.

At the same time, the cabinet authorized construction of more than 6,000 housing units in Israeli settlements.

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said that “Israel is creating a strategic plan to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.”

Despite Palestinian outrage over Israeli actions, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that he continues to be committed to a two-state solution.

He added that if a two-state solution is not reached, Israel will have to decide whether it’s democratic or Jewish.

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