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Israel to raze 200 Palestinian homes in E Jerusalem
02-04-2010, 06:52 PM,
Israel to raze 200 Palestinian homes in E Jerusalem
Quote:Israeli authorities plan to seal 200 Palestinians homes in East Jerusalem Al-Quds to counter what they call "discriminatory enforcement" against Israeli settlers.

The East Jerusalem Al-Quds Mayor Nir Barkat announced the decision after the State Prosecutor Moshe Lador criticized the municipality's refusal to carry out a Supreme Court order to seal the Jewish-owned Beit Yehonatan building in East Jerusalem Al-Quds.

The building, which houses Israeli settlers, was illegally built in the city's neighborhood of Silwan in 2004.

In a letter written to the prosecutor on Wednesday, Barkat agreed to implement the sealing order but added that he would also act to tear down 200 "illegal" Palestinian homes in the area.

"Although the sealing order, in light of the dozens of demolition orders which are not being enforced, constitutes, in my eyes, a selective and discriminatory enforcement, Jerusalem (Al-Quds) Municipality will act according to court orders and implement the sealing orders on Beit Yehonatan as well as other standing orders," Barkat wrote to Lador.

"The municipality will seal Beit Yehonatan and raze all of the illegal structures - more than 200 structures on which the court has issued demolition orders."

The mayor charged the court order came under the influence of "wrongful political intervention" which he said "may cause publicly elected officials to refrain from expressing an opinion on issues that have dire consequences."

The decision to raze Palestinian houses received condemnation from civil rights organizations and human rights groups in Israel.

The Ir Amim (City of Nations) organization denounced the move, saying Barkat was adopting a policy similar to the settlers' "price tag policy", by which settlers seek revenge by attacking Palestinians for every illegal outpost that is evacuated.

"We hope Barkat is considering the local and international significance of such an extreme act," the organization said in a statement.

The Peace Now Movement said that "the Jerusalem (Al-Quds) mayor has turned into a collaborator with Israel's most extreme right-wing organizations."
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