Israel demolished a number of Palestinian homes it said were illegally constructed near its separation barrier south of Jerusalem on Monday, July 22nd, in a move that drew international condemnation.
Palestinian leaders condemned the demolitions in the Sur Baher area adjacent to the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, but Israel justified them as essential to its security and noted its supreme court had approved them.
United Nations officials and the European Union condemned the demolitions and called for an immediate halt to the policy.
In the evening, hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers removed buildings in the area close to the Israeli separation barrier which cuts off the West Bank, an AFP journalist said.
Residents and activists were dragged out of homes, though most of the ten buildings under demolition orders were still under construction. Earthmovers then demolished at least three multi-story buildings. They were also preparing to destroy an eight-story building which was still under construction.
One man yelled "I want to die here" after being forced out.
The owner of one demolished building, Akram Zawahra, said: "they are destroying our dreams and the dreams of our children."
"They won't destroy our determination," he added.