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Date posted: January 11, 2011
By MIFTAH

MIFTAH strongly condemns the January 9 demolition of the Shepherd Hotel in east Jerusalem. The hotel, originally belonging to the prominent Haj Amin Al Hussein of Jerusalem was torn down to make way for a new settlement enclave in the eastern sector of the city. American Jewish millionaire and settlement advocate Irving Moskowitz supposedly bought the building although the sale is still under scrutiny. According to Israeli plans, 20 luxury homes exclusively for Jewish settlers will be built on the hotel grounds in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

MIFTAH calls on the international community to take a decisive stance against Israel's continued policy of demolitions in east Jerusalem, which is considered occupied under international law. Israel should be held accountable for its unlawful actions just like all other nations.

Israel's blatant shunning of the international community must not be allowed to continue with impunity. The demolition of the Shepherd Hotel along with the hundreds of Palestinian homes demolished in east Jerusalem are part of an overall Israeli scheme to inhabit the city with as many Jewish Israelis as possible and prevent the creation of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

It is imperative that the international community, headed by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, finally take tangible punitive action against Israel for its continued illegal measures in east Jerusalem. MIFTAH calls on these parties to insist on the occupied status of east Jerusalem and the illegality of the demolitions in this sector by Israeli authorities. Such demolitions are not only detrimental to the Palestinians involved but they represent a death sentence to any chance of reaching peace on the basis of a just solution.

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