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Europe Condemns Israel For West Bank Home Demolitions

The European Union has expressed frustration with Israel over its demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, with the EU ambassador taking the unusual step of reading out a joint statement denouncing the practice.

The ambassador delivered a stern diplomatic message, saying Israel was breaking international law.

The issue came to a head after Israel issued demolition orders last month against 42 homes in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, where EU member states Belgium and Italy have funded a school and helped build structures for the local population of around 150.

“The practice of enforcement measures such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes … are contrary to Israel’s obligations under international law,” ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen said.

The clampdown against Khan al-Ahmar, located in a sensitive area of the West Bank that Israel has earmarked for settlement expansion, is the latest in a series of demolitions that have been roundly condemned by the EU and the United Nations.

Israel says the demolitions are necessary because the building was carried out without a permit in an area of the West Bank, known as Area C, where Israel retains full control.

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