Foreign ministry criticises Israeli demolition

The Swiss foreign ministry says it "strongly condemns" Israel's demolition of the old Shepherd Hotel in Jerusalem and plans for a new Israeli settlement in its place.

This content was published on January 10, 2011 - 22:44

It said in a statement on Monday evening that the move was in violation of international law and undermined efforts to resume peace negotiations.

"[The ministry] points out that East Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and that its annexation by Israel is considered as illegal by the international community," said the statement.  

It appealed to the Israeli authorities to respect international law and to avoid any actions which might jeopardise the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Shepherd Hotel, torn down on Sunday as part of a settlement project first announced in 2009, was declared "absentee property" by Israel after it captured and annexed East Jerusalem. Israel views all of Jerusalem as its capital, a claim that is not recognised internationally.

The United Nations and the United States have also issued criticism of Israel's actions.

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