US State Department protests demolition of illegal Arab homes

US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters on Friday that the US was “concerned” by Israel’s recent demolitions of illegally built Arab structures in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.

In March Israel security forces demolished an illegal Arab building in the village of Khirbet Tana in the Jordan River Valley, Reuters reported. The structure, which was reportedly being used as a school, had been constructed with the help of the European Union.

Since 2012 the EU has worked aggressively to build illegal Arab outposts across strategic sections of Judea and Samaria, particularly near Jerusalem. From 2012 to 2015, the EU has built approximately 1,000 illegal buildings for Palestinian Authority Arabs.

Trudeau told reporters on Friday that enforcement of building laws on illegal Arab structures “are indicative of a damaging trend of demolitions, displacement, and land confiscation”.

She went on to say that the US was “concerned” that such actions would “undermine the possibility of a two-state solution.”

“They also call into question the Israeli government’s commitment to that two-state solution.”

The State Department was silent, however, on last week’s demolition of a synagogue near the town of Carmei Tzur.

The synagogue, which had previously been damaged by Arab arsonists in a February attack, was built in honor of the three Israeli youths who were kidnapped and murdered.

Despite the State Department’s criticism, Israeli administrators have been slow to enforce building laws in Judea and Samaria.

According to a report released on Monday by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, the IDF’s Civil Administration, which enforces building laws in Judea and Samaria, has demolished only a small fraction of illegally built homes in the area.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/210208

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