Israel's illegal policies and practices, ranging from home demolitions and forced displacement to the destruction of Palestinian livelihoods, in East Jerusalem and the rest of occupied Palestine, serve one goal: "the preservation and expansion of the Israeli colonial-settlement enterprise at the expense of Palestinian land and people ".
Israel claims the 100 apartments, in the Wadi al-Hummus neighbourhood of Sur Baher, East Jerusalem, violates a 2011 military order which forbids construction within a 100-300m buffer zone of the separation wall.
Under the interim Oslo Agreement signed between the PLO and the Israeli government in 1993, the West Bank was divided into three areas: the area (A) under Palestinian control, the area (B) under Palestinian and Israeli control and the area (C) under full Israeli control. "But it is not just that there are hundreds of structures there - several dozens of them sit nearly on the route of the separation fence, endangering the security forces that operate there".
Under the pretext of illegal construction, Israel frequently demolishes homes and structures belonging to Palestinians.
An Israeli police vehicle is seen driving past Palestinian buildings in Sur Baher slated for demolition, seen here from Beit Sahur in the West Bank. Owners said they had obtained permission to build from the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The deadline for residents to remove the buildings expired on Friday.
"Since 2am they have been evacuating people from their homes by force and they have started planting explosives in the homes they want to destroy".
The sprawling village of Sur Baher straddles the line between East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
This contradicts the announcement by B'Tselem that the demolition was carried out despite the fact that "these buildings were built many years ago, some of them after receiving a building permit from the Palestinian Authority".
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Around 6 a.m., the group said hundreds of Israeli troops were evicting the Palestinian residents and removing activists from the buildings.
"I think it's important to underline that we can not deny their right", Cochard said, referring to the families living in the homes.
"Demolitions and forced evictions are some of the multiple pressures generating a risk of forcible transfer for many Palestinians in the West Bank", the United Nations statement said.
Sur Baher is one of those places.
Palestinian officials say the threatened structures lie within areas that they should control. They said 17 Palestinians faced displacement from the plans to level 10 buildings, including dozens of apartments.
However, the Israeli Supreme Court's 3-judge panel ruled unanimously in favor of demolition. The Palestine Liberation Organization issued a statement accusing the Israeli court of aiming "to set a precedent to enable the Israeli occupying forces to demolish numerous Palestinian buildings located in close proximity" to the barrier.
The court said construction close to the barrier could provide cover for attackers.
Hussein al-Sheikh, the head of the civil affairs department of the Palestinians Authority, called Monday's demolition a crime and demanded worldwide intervention.