Jul. 24, 2019
WCC general secretary condemns demolitions in Wadi-Al-Hummus
Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC
24 July 2019
World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit called on Israel to stop the illegal demolitions immediately. “Israeli authorities have demolished 16 Palestinian buildings, containing some 70 apartments, in Wadi Al-Hummus, in occupied East Jerusalem. This is against international law.” Over two hundred people have already been displaced in East Jerusalem this year.
At the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, held in Geneva on 24 June to 12 July, WCC delivered a statement calling on the government of Israel to cease demolishing Palestinian homes and structures. In Wadi Al-Hummus in southeast Jerusalem, 16 large buildings which are home to 500 Palestinian people were given demolition orders with a request to self-demolish by 18 July.
Tveit underlined that “Israel as an occupying power is bound by International Humanitarian Law to protect the Palestinian civilian population.” He added “the 4^th Geneva Convention clearly states that the occupier cannot destroy or seize property on territory it is occupying, and that forcible transfer of residents of an occupied territory, unless for imperative military reasons, constitutes a grave breach of international law.”
Tveit noted that ”this particular demolition establishes a new and dangerous precedent, in that the houses being razed are in an area under Palestinian Authority control, and their construction had been approved by the PA”.