Govt Expresses Concern Over Destruction of Palestinian Homes

( [email protected] ) Nov 01, 2003 06:40 PM EST

Government has expressed concern of the excessive use of force by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) in highly populated areas of Palestine.

This comes as Israeli forces destroyed three apartment towers housing over 2 000 Palestinians, leaving thousands homeless this week alone.

Other infrastructure has also been destroyed.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad pointed out that he agreed with the Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan that "the use of punitive measures, such as the destruction of property is a violation of international law".

"Such acts are clearly counterproductive to peace as they only encourage and provoke acts of retribution," said Mr Pahad.

For this reason, government has called on both parties to cease hostilities that lead to acts of retribution and retaliation.

"History has shown that punitive measures instituted against a people fighting for their legitimate rights only give rise to resentment and resistance. It is imperative therefore that both parties display an attitude that is reflective of their will to resolve this conflict," said the Deputy Minister.

He added that the Israeli government's decision to build a further 300 homes as Israeli settlements throughout occupied territories and upgrade five illegal outposts to permanent settlement status did not further Israel's case in terms of its legitimate security concerns.

"An expansion of settlements is in contravention of Israel's obligations as set out in the (Middle East) Road Map."

Government has meanwhile called on the international community to take action to ensure that the obligations as set out in the Road Map are adhered to.