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European Union on the Planned Demolition of Palestine Village – Media Stakeout (20 Sep 2018) Nations

Statement of the current European members of the Security Council by Karel Jan Gustaaf van Oosterom, Permanent Representatives of the Netherlands to the United Nations, on the planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar. Eight member States of the European Union called upon the Israeli authorities to “reconsider their decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, adding that the members will not “give up on the negotiated two-state solution with Jerusalem as future capital for both States.” The joint Statement, issued by the Kingdom of the Netherland, Sweden, Poland, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany and Italy, came after the Israel’s High Court on 5 September had rejected the petitions by the residents of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar and allow the Israeli authorities to proceed with the plans for demolition within seven days. In the statement read by the Dutch Ambassador Karel J.G. van Oosterom, it says that they have “repeatedly stated our long-standing position on Israel’s settlement policy. It is illegal under international law as reconfirmed by Security Council Resolution 2334 from 2016, and actions taken in that context, including the demolition of Palestinian communities and possible forced transit of population.” The statement also stressed “the consequence of the demolition of this community, and the displacement of its residents including children would be very serious. And would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution and undermine prospect for peace.” Welcoming the statement made by the European countries, the Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said “their principle position with regard to standing against the position of the Israeli government in demolishing, or attempting to demolish the houses of the Bedouin community in Khan al-Ahmar is commendable and it is a very good position.” Mansour added “we hope that the international community will rally behind that position, and the position of the Secretary-General to stop Israel’s occupying power from demolishing this community.” The Palestine Ambassador also reiterated that the position articulated by the European Member States to be adopted by the Security Council. He said “we all know that there is one country that would not allow even a simple statement of respecting and upholding international law to be the case in the Security Council. Nevertheless, we are grateful and we will continue rallying the support to defend the community of Khan al-Ahmar and not to demolish it.”

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