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Israeli officials deliver demolition notices for homes in Issawiya

Sept. 26, 2017 3:40 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 26, 2017 7:05 P.M.)
Issawiya neighborhood, Oct 20 2015 (Emily Mulder/MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israel’s Jerusalem municipality distributed demolition notices for several Palestinian homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Monday for allegedly building homes without Israeli-issued building permits.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, Raed Abu Reyaleh, a member of the village’s follow-up committee, said that Israeli forces and municipality officials had “conducted provocative tours” in Issawiya.

He added that Israeli forces had photographed streets and Palestinian-owned residential and commercial structures, while handing demolition notices to several homes in the neighborhood.

A spokesperson for the Jerusalem municipality was not immediately available to comment.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem, though the Jerusalem municipality has claimed that compared to the Jewish population, they receive a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which also see high approval ratings.

For Jewish Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem’s illegal settlements, the planning, marketing, development, and infrastructure are funded and executed by the Israeli government. By contrast, in Palestinian neighborhoods, all the burden falls on individual families to contend with a lengthy permit application that can last several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

According to Daniel Seidemann of the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, “Since 1967, the Government of Israel has directly engaged in the construction of 55,000 units for Israelis in East Jerusalem; in contrast, fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago. So much for (Jerusalem Mayor Nir) Barkat’s claim ‘we build for everyone.’”

According to United Nations documentation, 179 Palestinians were displaced and 112 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Sept. 11. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016.
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