Former world leaders have lambasted Israel’s discriminatory policies in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) during a tour of a troubled neighborhood in the occupied territory.
The one-time political heavyweights, known as Elders, paid a visit to Silwan in the occupied East al-Quds on Thursday, AFP reported.
The crowded neighborhood has been the scene of protests against Tel Aviv’s plan to raze homes of Arab residents to build a so-called archeological park.
The independent group, which was founded to support peace building and help address major causes of human suffering, spoke to the families whose homes awaited demolition.
"We want a promise from you," said one of the residents, Aida Rishek. "Give us just one night to sleep without the fear of the arrest of my husband and my children."
The Elder’s leader, former Irish President Mary Robinson, said that if a solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is to be found it has to be here in al-Quds as well.
"We as Elders fear the possibility of a two state solution may be fading away, may be lost because of what is happening here [in al-Quds]," she said.
Israel occupied East al-Quds, the promised capital of the future Palestinian state, along with other Palestinian territories in the West Bank in 1967. It later annexed the territories in violation of international law.
Tel Aviv is accused of implementing an apartheid system, under which it indulges its own people while withholding basic needs from the Palestinians.