Arab group at UN condemn Israel’s decision to destroy Palestinian village

The Arab group at the UN rejected and condemned Israel’s decision to demolish the Palestinian village in East Jerusalem. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 September 2018
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Arab group at UN condemn Israel’s decision to destroy Palestinian village

  • The Arab group at the UN thanked the 8 EU nations that opposed Israel’s planned demolition
  • UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace also condemned the continued demolition and confiscation of Palestinian-owned buildings by Israel

DUBAI: The Permanent Representative of Oman to the United Nations, Khalifa Al-Harthy, has rejected and condemned Israel’s decision to demolish the Palestinian village in East Jerusalem.

“I would like to say that we in the Arab Group reject and condemn the Israeli plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Khan Al-Ahmar,” Al-Harthy said.

Al-Harthy, who also holds the rotating presidency of the Arab group, also thanked the eight European Union nations that opposed Israel’s planned demolition of the village and urged its government to reconsider the decision.

“We would like to express our gratitude for the statement read out by the Dutch ambassador on behalf of the European Community and the support from the international community in these difficult days,” he added.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour also expressed the Palestinian government and Palestinians’ appreciation to the European community.

“Their principled stance on their position against the Israeli government’s decision to demolish or attempt to demolish the homes of the Bedouin community in Khan Al-Ahmar is very good and commendable,” Ambassador Mansour, who is Palestine’s envoy to the UN, said.

“We hope that the international community will stand with them in their position and that of the Secretary-General to stop Israel, the occupying power, from demolishing Khan Al-Ahmar,” he added.  

Kuwait’s ambassador to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi has reiterated that Israel must comply with Security Council Resolution 2334 and stressed that the Kuwaiti delegation was doing its utmost to ensure that the Security Council, of which Al-Otaibi is a member, would continue to pressure Israel to comply with all its resolutions.

Meanwhile, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolai Mladenov condemned the continued demolition and confiscation of Palestinian-owned buildings by Israeli occupation authorities throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Mladenov told the UN Security Council on Thursday that 117 buildings have been destroyed and confiscated in East Jerusalem and Area C, displacing 145 Palestinians including 82 children, and affected the livelihoods of 950 people. Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected several petitions from the residents to prevent demolition.

Mladenov stressed that all settlement activities violate international laws and constitute a major obstacle to peace.

The international official also expressed concern over the continued deterioration of the humanitarian, security and political situation in Gaza.

The UN has exhausted its funding for emergency fuel, threatening the closure of vital health, water and sanitation facilities, while the levels of essential medicines have been critically reduced.


Damascus prepares for Christmas without mortar fire

Updated 16 min 55 sec ago
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Damascus prepares for Christmas without mortar fire

  • "Christmas preparations this year are more than excellent. There are no mortars anymore," one citizen said
  • Over the course of the Syrian war, insurgent shelling killed some 2,000 people in Damascus

DAMASCUS: Christmas decorations are going up for the first time in years in a Damascus neighbourhood that was a frontline in Syria's war until government forces wiped out the last rebel enclaves in the capital earlier this year.
"Christmas preparations this year are more than excellent. There are no mortars anymore," said Hanna al-Saad, a shop owner in the Qasaa district that was often shelled from the adjacent area of Jobar.
Abbasiyeen Square, where mortars regularly fell, and nearby parts of the city are being decked out with lighting and Christmas trees, while musicians with a local scout troop are preparing for a Christmas march not seen for years.
"We are so happy. The children can now come again to the church without worrying for their safety, and their parents feel more reassured," said Aline Droubi, a musician with the scout troop that practices at a church in Abbasiyeen.
The eastern edge of Damascus bore the brunt of insurgent shelling until government forces recovered control of the Ghouta region in a Russian-backed offensive that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says killed 1,600 civilians.
Over the course of the Syrian war, insurgent shelling killed some 2,000 people in Damascus, according to a Facebook group that recorded the attacks.
Following the recovery of eastern Ghouta in April, government forces moved on to take back the Yarmouk area south of the capital, bringing all Damascus back under state control.
"Last year we didn't dare to walk in the streets a lot," said Abir Ismail, a resident of al-Qasaa neighborhood, adjacent to Jobar town that was controlled by an armed faction.
"We had no electricity and there were no lights or decorations," she added, expressing excitement at the sight of the decorated streets and houses this year.