Erekat calls for stopping house demolition in east Jerusalem

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Erekat calls for stopping house demolition in east Jerusalem
01 June 2005

GAZA--Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Wednesday urged the international community to pressure Israel to stop demolition of Palestinian houses in east Jerusalem.

"Such a new attack would certainly undermine all efforts to save the stalled peace process," Erekat told reporters.

Israel has decided to demolish some Palestinian houses in al Bustan neighborhood in east Jerusalem, claiming that they are built on archeological sites.

Palestinian sources said that the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem had recently started a plan to demolish 88 Palestinian houses that are in al Bustan and Silwan neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.

Sami Irshid, Palestinian lawyer who defends the case, said that the residents have already received orders from the municipality claiming that their houses were built illegally.

"This is an excuse to sweep up east Jerusalem from its Arab and Palestinian population," said Irshid.

He also revealed a document, saying "it was a plan by an Israeli ministerial committee in 1977 calling for turning all Palestinian houses around the old city of Jerusalem into parks and gardens." undefined

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