Israel’s Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan (Likud) defended the state’s decision to demolish illegal Arab apartment complexes in the southeast section of Jerusalem on Monday. Erdan added that the buildings were built too close to the security fence, and could be used as a cover for terrorism reports INN.
“The demolition of the illegal and largely uninhabited buildings which will occur today at Wadi al-Hummus in the Arab populated village of Sur Baher, Jerusalem. It was approved by the Israeli High Court of Justice,” Erdan noted in a statement on Monday, “who ruled that the illegal construction constitutes a severe threat to security and can act as cover for suicide bombers and other terrorists hiding within the civilian population thus endangering the lives of civilians and security forces as well.”
“The court also ruled unequivocally that those who constructed homes in the range of the security barrier knew that building in that area was illegal and took the law into their own hands.”
The United Nations and the European Union had called on the Jewish state to annul the demolition orders that were issued for 10 illegal apartment complexes in Sur Baher, an Arab populated neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.
“The continuation of this policy undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace,” the EU stated recently.
Several anti-Israel activists from the UK tried to stop the demolition by holing up in the buildings but were subsequently removed by Israeli security forces.
Aside from illegal structures, the Israeli government has a policy of demolishing homes belonging to terrorists.