Switzerland calls for an end to Israeli settlements

Bern, Press release, 23.07.2009

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is deeply concerned about the destruction of Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem near the old town and by the planned evictions. It calls on the Israeli government to end these operations immediately and to put a stop to all forms of settlement of the occupied Palestinian territory. It has passed on this request directly to the Israeli authorities.

The FDFA is monitoring with concern the events in East Jerusalem. It deplores the destruction of homes by the Israeli government and the eviction orders imposed on Palestinian families. It calls on the Israeli government not to proceed with the building of new apartments on Palestinian property in the Sheikh Jarrah district. East Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel is required by international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of the population.

Switzerland considers that the Israeli settlements and the destruction of houses in the occupied Palestinian territory are a violation of international humanitarian law, which forbids an occupying power to destroy goods in occupied territory or to transfer the civilian population. There is no military necessity that could justify the destruction of these houses or the evictions of Palestinian families.

The continuation of colonisation is incompatible with a genuine peace process which seeks a global and lasting solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs