UAE condemns Israel for demolitions of Palestinian homes near occupied West Bank wall

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the move 'contrary to international law'

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The UAE has condemned Israel for its demolition of a cluster of Palestinian homes on Monday near the separation wall in the occupied West Bank, calling the move "contrary to international law".

Israel said on Tuesday that a total of 12 Palestinian buildings it considered illegally constructed were demolished in Monday's controversial operation. A preliminary assessment by the UN found that 24 people were displaced in Monday's destruction.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation released a statement that said it rejected "such criminal acts, which violate the rights of the brotherly Palestinian people".

The UAE also called on the international community to uphold its responsibilities to ending the suffering of the Palestinian people and establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital – in accordance with relevant international parameters and the Arab Peace Initiative.

This came in a statement delivered by Majid Al Mutawa, Third Secretary at the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the UN, at the UN Security Council quarterly Open Debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Wam reported.

The statement underlined that Israel needed to cease its illegal practices of expanding settlements and demolishing Palestinian property.

The criticism was joined by Saudi Arabia, which called

on the international community to "stop this aggression".

"The cabinet strongly condemned and denounced authorities of the Israeli occupation for the demolition of dozens of houses in... east Jerusalem," said a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

"It called on the international community to intervene to stop this aggression and dangerous escalation that targets Palestinians."

Britain and Germany added their voices to growing international condemnation of Israel on Tuesday, saying the destruction was "particularly egregious".

The five European Union members of the UN Security Council, which also include France, Belgium and Poland, released a statement following a council meeting on the Middle East.

"We as member states of the European Union strongly condemn the demolition by Israel of Palestinian buildings in the district of Wadi Al Hummus, in the south east of Jerusalem," they said.

"In all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolition in occupied territories is contrary to International Humanitarian Law and to UNSC resolutions," the statement added.

The EU countries said demolitions cause "unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process".

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community.

It began construction of the separation barrier during the bloody second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in the early 2000s.

Palestinians see it as an "apartheid wall" and a potent symbol of the Israeli occupation.