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Palestinians ask Obama to press Israel to halt demolitions


RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) — The Palestinian Authority urged the US president on Monday to press Israel to scrap a plan to raze almost 90 homes in annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

"We call on President Barack Obama to intervene personally to have this project stopped," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, one of the main aides of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

The Palestinian owners of 88 houses in the Silwan neighbourhood have received eviction notices saying that the structures will be destroyed because they were built or expanded without the necessary permits. The move would affect about 1,500 people.

"It is a massacre that Israel will commit in this Holy City," Abed Rabbo told a news conference, calling for "urgent Arab and international action to halt this dangerous project."

He said some of the houses affected by the orders had been built before Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War.

He called for a day-long strike in east Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank to protest against the plan.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, which groups the six Gulf Arab states, backed the call for US intervention to stop what it called these "racist acts that defy human rights and international law."

"This is a dangerous step taken within the Zionist entity's strategy to change the demographic reality in Jerusalem, signalling the occupier's attempts to turn the city Jewish," the grouping's secretary general Abdulrahman al-Attiya said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Silwan, which abuts the Old City of Jerusalem, is home to 10,000 Palestinians.

Sixty Jewish families also live in the neighbourhood around the City of David archaeological park which Israeli authorities say was the capital of the ancient Israelite kingdom.

Israel, which considers the whole of Jerusalem its "eternal, undivided" capital rarely grants building permits to Arab residents of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want to make the capital of their promised state.

According to the Israeli B'Tselem human rights organisation, Israeli authorities have demolished some 350 houses in east Jerusalem since 2004, saying that they were built without permits.

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John J.Coghlan

In 1948 the state of Israel was created on stolen land. and since than it has continued to expand by taking more land. Bulldozing peoples homes and driving them out is nothing new. They have been doing it now for sixty years. Eviction, murder, and genocide have been the means of acquiring more land. Israel has created another Warsaw Ghetto in Palestine. The only difference between Israel and Nazi Germany, is that Israel is being supported by the United States.

Our Corporate Media, along with one Dozen American Presidents have chosen to ignore this ongoing atrocity. Do you think that Obama is going to pay any attention to a few more homes being demolished in East Jerusalem? I don't think so. Politicians are to afraid that someone is going to call them a bed name, if they speak unfavorably about this terrorist nation. Our Corporate Media is so radically pro Israel, that a politician would be putting their head on a chopping block if they dared to speak the truth.

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