Israel Must Stop Demolishing, Seizing Palestinian Buildings - UN Under-Secretary General

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed the recent Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes as "ethnic cleansing" and said he would cut cooperation with Israeli authorities.

Earlier this week, Israeli forces razed dozens of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, on a territory administered by the Palestinian Authority.

The creation of a committee that would lead the effort to withdraw from all agreements is in line with rules laid out by the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Central Council. Israel says they were built too close to the wall, which the Jewish state considers vital for its security.

The PA leader lambasted Israel's demolition this week of homes in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Baher on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, calling it "a violation of worldwide legitimacy and agreements signed between us and them, an issue that can only be identified as ethnic cleansing and a crime against humanity".

United Nations officials say 17 Palestinians will be displaced. The United States has long objected to a council visit, which has to be agreed by consensus, diplomats said.

Such statements have to be agreed by consensus and on Wednesday the USA told its council counterparts it could not support the text, diplomats said.

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Washington has long accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias and shields its ally from council action.

Greenblatt said Trump has not decided when to release the political portion of the peace plan but said "we hope to make that decision soon".

Greenblatt's remarks came just minutes after U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo insisted, "We must work together to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table in order to resolve the conflict on the basis of global law, relevant U.N. resolutions and previous agreements". Palestinians call it a land grab created to annex parts of the West Bank, including Israeli settlements.

In February, the Jewish state chose to deduct around $10 million a month from tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians, corresponding to the amount it said the Palestinian Authority pays to families of prisoners or directly to inmates in Israeli jails.

The Palestinians have in response refused to take any of the roughly $180 million in monthly tax revenues until the full amount is transferred, leaving Abbas's government in financial crisis.

Most of the buildings Israel demolished were unfinished and could not be used as residences.

  • Sonia Alvarado