Israeli police and military were filmed laughing and cheering as they blew up a Palestinian building in the West Bank district of Wadi Hummus in East Jerusalem on Monday.
The footage shows three men looking down on the area where Israel began demolition of 13 buildings, after a High Court ruled against an appeal to stop the demolition ordered by the Defense Ministry, which said the buildings were too close to the separation barrier Israel constructed around and inside the West Bank in the 2000s.
A man wearing a balaclava holds the controls to set off the explosions inside the building below. Once it starts to explode, the men laugh and celebrate as other people can be heard cheering and whistling.
The buildings are located on the outskirts of Sur Baher in Wadi Hummus, which is in Area A of the West Bank, meaning it is under the administration of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The separation barrier left Wadi Hummus on the Israel side of the structure, even though it remains part of the West Bank. The buildings that were demolished had permits issued by the PA.
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Their destruction was condemned as a “grave aggression” by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who said that a complaint would be made to the International Criminal Court. “This is a continuation of the forced displacement of the people of Jerusalem from their homes and lands – a war crime and a crime against humanity,” he said.
Last week UN officials called on Israel to halt its demolition plans and the EU said the policy “undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace.”
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