The Arab Thought Forum (ATF) is committed to the belief that state structures must be developed to serve and be responsive to an active and critical public, which is conscious of its obligations and duties, as well as its rights and entitlements
Media Release Demolition of Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem 13.11.2008
2008-11-18 The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is deeply concerned about the destruction of houses belonging to Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. It demands that the Israeli government immediately halt these so-called “administrative demolitions”. The FDFA is following the recent events in East Jerusalem and in the vicinity of Ramallah with increasing concern and regrets the continued house demolitions by the Israeli government. East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. According to international humanitarian law, Israel is under an obligation to ensure the protection of the civilian population. In spite of this, however, since 2000 more than 600 houses have been demolished in East Jerusalem and more than 1,600 in the West Bank as a whole. The FDFA regards the recent incidents as violations of international humanitarian law, which forbids an occupying power from destroying property in an occupied territory. In this particular case there is no military need to justify the destruction of these houses. The FDFA has initiated a demarche concerning this matter with the Israeli Foreign Ministry.