Swiss cast concerned eye over East Jerusalem

The foreign ministry has said it is "seriously concerned" by the possible destruction of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem near the Old Town.

This content was published on March 19, 2009 - 15:54

In a statement on Thursday it called on the Israeli government to comply with its obligations in international law and not to go ahead with the planned demolitions in the al-Bustan district in Silwan.

The ministry points out that the destruction of property by the occupying power in an occupied territory is prohibited and constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law and of the relevant Security Council resolutions.

East Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and there was therefore no military justification for the demolition of houses, it said, adding that Israel was required by international law to ensure the protection of the population.

In the foreign ministry's view, the destruction of Palestinian dwellings in this sensitive district of East Jerusalem would threaten the territorial continuity of the West Bank and would constitute a further obstacle to a global and lasting solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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