The demolition of an Arab family’s home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud “raises serious concerns with regard to Israel’s obligations under international law,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Jerusalem Maxwell Gillard said Wednesday.
Gillard visited the family of 13 whose illegally built home was destroyed Tuesday by order of the Jerusalem Municipality.
The municipality said it was a one-room structure, about 45 square meters in size, built hastily with unsafe building materials. The Israeli Committee Against Demolitions said the structure was a proper house with at least four rooms.
A statement released by Gillard said that 396 Palestinian structures were demolished in east Jerusalem and the West Bank this year, compared to 275 in the previous year – an increase of almost 45 percent. As a result, 561 people have been displaced this year, including 280 children, and the livelihoods of over 3,000 people have also been affected.
“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 East Jerusalem,” Gillard said.