Forced Removal of Palestinian Families Reminiscent of Former Apartheid Regime
The South African government issued a harsh statement criticizing Israelis for their planned housing constructions in East Jerusalem. The statement condemned Israeli for forcefully evicting Palestinians from their homes comparing such actions to the ‘forced removals’ of the apartheid era by the former racist government of South Africa.
We condemn the fact that Israeli settlement expansion in East Jerusalem is coupled with Israel’s campaign to evict and displace the original Palestinian residents from the City," the statement said. "South Africa is deeply concerned that these activities by Israel will only serve only to deepen the cycle of violence in the region."
Israel as always rejected the comparison between the current circumstances in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to that of former apartheid regime of South Africa. Tel-Aviv says evictions of only two Palestinian families were normal procedures because they violated terms of their leases. Israeli officials didn’t however explain what does eviction of two Palestinian families have to do with constructing thousand of apartment units in that part of Jerusalem.
Israel claims it is going ahead with the construction of large apartment units in eastern part of Jerusalem because US backed talks failed to bring lasting peace to the region. Tel-Aviv meanwhile asked the US government to help the Egyptians build a huge steel wall along the Gaza border to prevent food and medicine from crossing into impoverished Gaza Strip.
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