Heads of Mission of the European Union and likeminded countries visit Wadi Qaddoum in East Jerusalem

(Source: EEAS)

Heads of Mission and representatives from the EU and likeminded countries visited residents in Wadi Qaddoum, part of Silwan in East Jerusalem, where 74 Palestinians are at risk of imminent displacement.

The visit was jointly organized by the Israeli NGOs Ir Amim and Bimkom and was also joined by UN OCHA. The diplomats were briefed about the increasingly coercive environment facing residents in East Jerusalem who by large do not enjoy the right to adequate urban planning and residential development leaving approximately 74 Palestinians, including 42 children, Palestinians at risk of displacement. In East Jerusalem, it is virtually impossible for Palestinians to acquire the needed building permits.

The diplomats met with residents of the four-story residential building at risk of imminent displacement. They told of their long struggle to promote a re-zoning spot plan with Israeli Authorities that could eventually grant them a building permit, but how they were now instead faced with an imminent eviction order. Diplomats were also reminded that from the start of 2022 until today, 75 demolitions have been carried out in East Jerusalem alone on the basis of lacking a building permit.

“I am here today together with my fellow colleagues from the European Union and other likeminded countries to express solidarity with the Palestinian families threatened of displacement from their own homes. The continued practice of demolitions and evictions in occupied East Jerusalem is in violation of international humanitarian law and must cease. Israel as the occupying power has the obligation to protect the population. We are today facing unprecedented numbers of Palestinians at risk of displacement in the city, particularly in several neighbourhoods of Silwan but also in Sheikh Jarrah and in Walajeh. As a human being it is very hard to fathom the emotional distress and sense of hopelessness these Palestinian families and children have been living under for years. With the many tensions and provocations we have witnessed in Jerusalem in recent time, including to the status quo of the holy sites, the continued eviction of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem only take us further away from a sustainable and just peace and undermine any trust building between the parties” said the Deputy European Union Representative Maria Velasco

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