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PLO slams Israel after 7 Palestinian homes torn down

April 4, 2016 2:53 P.M. (Updated: April 5, 2016 12:08 P.M.)
(Photo credit: B'Tselem)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat on Monday slammed Israel for the latest wave of demolitions that saw seven homes torn down across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in a single night.

"This is another act of collective punishment committed by Israel against the Palestinian civilian population in violation of international law and Israel’s obligations as the belligerent occupying power," Erekat said in a statement issued by his office.

In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli forces tore down three homes belonging to slain Palestinian attackers in the village of Qabatiya south of Jenin, and another four homes that were built without permits -- one in Surif, two near Duma, and one in occupied East Jerusalem.

The demolitions are part of the most extensive demolition campaign in the occupied West Bank in the last seven years, which the UN says has left more than 650 Palestinians homeless in under three months, more than half of whom were children.

Erekat said in the statement that Israel had demolished 157 homes in the occupied Palestinian territory since last September.

He warned Israel that every violation of human rights would be "documented, reported, and presented to the relevant international bodies, including the International Criminal Court."

He also warned the international community that "granting impunity for continued and systematic Israeli crimes will not achieve a resumption of negotiations. Rather, it is killing any realistic political horizon to end the Israeli occupation of the State of Palestine."

His comments referred in particular to a recent Human Rights Council resolution to ensure accountability for human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory. The resolution was passed but saw the abstention of countries such as the UK, Germany, and India.

"We call upon those countries to review their positions," Erekat said. "Allowing Israel to act as a state above the law only perpetuates Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and ensures the destruction of the two-state solution."
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