JPost - EU expresses angst over demolitions
- JPost -
The Jerusalem Post
EU expresses angst over demolitions
By JPOST.COM STAFF
East Jerusalem demolitions labeled as an "illegal obstacle to peace."
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton called the planned demolitions
in east Jerusalem an "obstacle to peace," reported the AFP Wednesday.
The demolitions are part of a planned archaeological development, and
have caused recent controversy, including a 200-strong demonstration in
Silwan last Sunday, where protesters clashed with police.
Ashton called the demolitions illegal under international law and said
they would make a two-state solution impossible. "If there is to be
genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the
status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states."
The demolitions also drew fire last week from UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-Moon, who labeled the plan illegal and unhelpful to the peace process.
In an official statement, the UN chief said, ”the planned moves are
contrary to international law, and to the wishes of Palestinian
residents.” The statement also cautioned against “provocative steps”
that could “heighten tensions in the city.”
“The secretary-general is deeply concerned about the decision by the
Jerusalem Municipality to advance planning for house demolitions and
further settlement activity in the area of Silwan,” the statement said.
“The current moves are unhelpful, coming at a time when the goal must be
to build trust to support political negotiations.”
The US has come out against the demolitions as well. The US is "worried"
about Jerusalem's Silwan building project, the US State Department said
last week according to AFP.
"This is expressly the kind of step that we think undermines trust that
is fundamental in making progress to the proximity talks and ultimately
in direct negotiations," said US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.
A spokesman for Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat told The Jerusalem Post on
Sunday that the projects were designed to improve the quality of life of
Silwan’s Arab residents and that they would not “surprise” the
Abe Selig contributed to this article.