Sit-in at EU Jerusalem office to protest home demolitions
Published Thursday 13/02/2014 (updated) 15/02/2014 21:22
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Activists organized a sit-in on Thursday in front of the European Union's office in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem in protest of the Israeli policy of house demolitions.
Participants handed a letter to the EU representative explaining the suffering caused by the demolitions, and emphasizing the EU's role in protecting Palestinians.
Protesters held signs reading "House demolition are against international law," "House demolitions are the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalemites," and "No to the house demolition policy," among others.
The sit-in was organized by the Jerusalem civil and national work organization, which called on Palestinians in Jerusalem to resist and stand against Israeli policies.
The protest comes amid a major increase in the frequency of demolitions since the beginning of the year, with at least 114 Palestinian properties destroyed and 217 people displaced in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in recent weeks, according to UNOCHA.
Israeli authorities say the demolitions occur because Palestinians fail to acquire the appropriate permits for construction, but rights groups counter that Israeli authorities rarely approve permit requests.
Israel has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.