A Palestinian building is blown up by Israeli forces in the village of Sur Baher which sits on either side of the Israeli barrier in East Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma A Palestinian building is blown up by Israeli forces in the village of Sur Baher which sits on either side of the Israeli barrier in East Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

Egypt condemns Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses

Wed, Jul. 24, 2019
CAIRO – 24 July 2019: Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned on Tuesday the escalation in Jerusalem as Israeli authorities demolished several residential buildings in the city's Wadi al-Hummus.

A statement issued by the ministry also voiced rejection of any action that would change the status quo in Jerusalem in a way that contradicts with the relevant international decrees and other international and humanitarian agreements.

The statement also stressed the threats posed by these actions on the efforts to achieve just and comprehensive peace.

The ministry stressed Egypt's steadfast position on supporting the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and working to resume negotiations in order to push forward the peace process based on the two-state solution.

Demolition, wide condemnation

Israel started to demolish many Palestinian houses for being built too close to the separation barrier in the occupied West Bank, which Israel deems illegal.

The move that was seen as escalating the situation in Jerusalem, which US President Donald Trump recognized in 2017 as Israel's capital, was faced by Arab and Western condemnation.

“The governments of France, Germany, Spain and the UK strongly condemn the demolition of Palestinian buildings in the district of Wadi al Hummus, in the South East of Jerusalem,” a joint statement published by the government of UK on Tuesday read.

“We remain seriously concerned by the continued demolition of Palestinian property by Israeli authorities. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolition in occupied territories is contrary to International Humanitarian Law and to UNSC resolutions. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process.”

“In this specific case, the demolitions were particularly egregious as a number of the buildings were located in Areas A and B, under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority according to the Oslo Agreements, and thus constitute a violation of these agreements. They set a dangerous precedent that directly jeopardizes the two state solution.”

Egypt's stance

During the 30th Arab Summit held earlier this year in Tunisia, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that the Arab-Israeli conflict comes at the top of the challenges faced by the Arab nations, adding that he believes that all Arab countries agree that there is no final way out of it unless a peaceful, comprehensive and just solution is reached to restore the Palestinian rights.

Sisi affirmed that the solution must guarantee an independent state to the Palestinians with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Later in April, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised Egyptian efforts at various levels to resolve the Palestinian cause and protect the rights of the Palestinian people during his meeting in Cairo with Sisi, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said.

During the meeting, Abbas stressed the importance he attaches to the coordination with President Sisi concerning the Palestinian situation and ways to deal with the challenges facing the Palestinian people.

He also reviewed the determinants of the Palestinian situation in light of the recent developments.

For his part, Sisi affirmed Egypt's full support for the Palestinian stance to reach a political settlement, highlighting the need to reach a just and comprehensive solution leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The meeting also reviewed the challenges currently faced by the Palestinian Authority, especially following Israel's deduction of the clearing funds, and the negative repercussions of such issue on the status of the authority.

Sisi affirmed Egypt's keenness to exert efforts with the concerned parties in this regard to prevent further escalation.

The Egyptian efforts to stabilize the Gaza Strip were also discussed during the meeting. Sisi pointed out that the Egyptian moves always aim at maintaining the security and stability of the Palestinian people and improving the humanitarian and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip.
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