23 March 2009
The European Union on Monday called on Israel to suspend eviction notices sent to Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, saying they further threaten the chances of peace.
“The EU is deeply concerned by the issuing of eviction notices to the al-Rawi and Hanoun families in East Jerusalem,” the EU’s Czech presidency said in a statement on behalf of the 27 member states.
“These eviction notices follow other recent orders which adversely affect Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and, combined with the increase in settlement activity in East Jerusalem, further threaten the chances of peace,” the statement added.
Last week the Palestinian Authority accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” after it delivered dozens of eviction orders to residents of annexed, mostly Arab east Jerusalem.
Last month Palestinian officials and residents told AFP that Israel had ordered hundreds of Palestinians to leave their homes in annexed east Jerusalem, warning their houses are illegal.
Israel, which considers the whole of Jerusalem its “eternal, undivided” capital, rarely grants building permits to Arab residents of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want to make the capital of their promised state.
The eviction orders have also triggered United Nations concerns.
The EU presidency said it had “raised our concerns with the Israeli government and call on Israel to suspend these eviction notices immediately”.