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Israel set to demolish 22 more homes

An Israeli local planning and building committee is to decide on Monday on the planned demolition of 22 Palestinian homes in the Silwan suburb of occupied al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The plan is to build an antiquities park in the Bustan neighborhood of Silwan, where the municipality claims that there are 80 Palestinian homes built without permits and that 22 homes will need to be demolished and their inhabitants moved to another suburb, the newspaper Haaretz reported on Friday.

The residents have rejected the plan as it violates their rights and violates international law.

They presented their own plan, which does not include the demolition of their homes, but the municipality rejected the plan and refused to hold talks with the residents, Haaretz said.

The announcement about the timing of the decision was made to coincide with US envoy George Mitchell’s visit to Israel, which started on Thursday.

Mitchell is visiting the region to establish diplomatic contacts between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

The last time Mitchell visited the region on May 20, 56 members of the Israeli parliament signed a statement calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to resume the construction in the Ariel settlement in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

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