Violence is on the rise in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israeli authorities are continuing to demolish and confiscate Palestinian-owned homes and property, in contravention of international law, the United Nations envoy for the Middle East Peace Process said on Thursday.
“It is hard to articulate the flesh and blood meaning of the exposed lives Palestinians endure under occupation,” he said, calling on Security Council members to act to reduce their suffering.
Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab said last week they would not pay the fine of 45,000 shekels ($12,423.05) awarded to three Israeli teenagers, calling the court’s ruling a “stunt” intended to intimidate Israel’s critics.
“Given that we’ve actually had this kind of push upon us – we felt that it was expedient to actually recenter the issue back on Palestine,” Abu-Shanab told Radio New Zealand.
“The demolition of this small Palestinian village would not only affect a local community,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini recently told the European Parliament. “It would also be a blow against the viability of the state of Palestine and against the very possibility of a two-state solution.”
Separately, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom warned in a rare joint statement that demolition would have “very serious” consequences.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki described on Tuesday President Donald Trump’s decision to halt U.S. funding for the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA as an attack on international law. “The U.S. administration has begun to attack the rights of the Palestinian people and international law,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, convened to discuss the issue.
A statement from the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the latest aid cut was part of a U.S. attempt “to liquidate the Palestinian cause” and said it would threaten the lives of thousands of Palestinians and the livelihoods of thousands of hospital employees.
“This dangerous and unjustified American escalation has crossed all red lines and is considered a direct aggression against the Palestinian people,” it said.