US State Department protests demolition of illegal Arab homes

The United States is “concerned” about Israel’s demolition of illegal Arab buildings in East Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria, a State Department spokeswoman said on Friday, adding that it raised questions about Israel’s commitment to a two-state political solution to the Palestinian conflict.

Israeli forces bulldozed a school in the Bedouin village of Khirbet Tana in the Jordan Valley in early in March. The school had been illegally built by the European Union.

Since 2012 the EU has worked aggressively to build illegal Arab outposts across strategic sections of Judea and Samaria, particularly near Jerusalem. From 2012 to 2015, the EU has built approximately 1,000 illegal buildings for Palestinian Authority Arabs.

“These actions are indicative of a damaging trend of demolitions, displacement and land confiscation,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told a State Department briefing.

She said Washington was “concerned” and the demolitions, coupled with continuing Israeli construction and settlement activity “undermine the possibility of a two-state solution.”

“They also call into question the Israeli government’s commitment to that two-state solution,” Trudeau said.

The State Department previously made similar comments.