East Jersualem Destruction Must End, Envoy says

Sep 27, 2011, 10:00 by R.E. Christian

Israeli authorities are violating humanitarian law by demolishing homes owned by Palestinians in the West Bank, a U.N. team said from Geneva.

Three independent experts -- housing envoy Raquel Rolnik, food envoy Olivier De Schutter and water and sanitation envoy Catarina de Albuquerque -- said the destruction of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, notably in East Jerusalem, must end.

"The impact and discriminatory nature of these demolitions and evictions is completely unacceptable," they said in a statement. "These actions by the Israeli authorities violate human rights and humanitarian law and must end immediately."

The Palestinian property, they said, is being destroyed by the Israeli government, military and settlers.

"With no effective action by the police and security forces, there is neither accountability for nor effective protection against these serious crimes, which further encourages the perpetrators to continue committing them," they said.

Their comments come as the U.N. Security Council considers a unilateral bid for statehood offered last week by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Washington said it would veto the measure, saying two-track negotiations with Israel were the best way to secure peace.

The European Parliament, meanwhile, voted in favor of a trade agreement for farm and fisheries products from the West Bank and Gaza starting early next year.

"This agreement offers an opportunity for the Palestinian people, a first step toward the development of a nation", EP rapporteur Maria Eleni Koppa said.

Source: UPI