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Israeli forces demolish Palestinian building in occupied East Jerusalem

Oct. 18, 2017 12:13 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 18, 2017 5:42 P.M.)
Israeli bulldozers demolish Palestinian-owned building that was under construction in Beit Hanina (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished a building in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

Wafa reported that crews from Israel's jerusalem Municipality, accompanied by police escorts, raided the neighborhood and destroyed the building under the pretext that it was built without a permit.

Neither an Israeli police spokesperson nor a psokesperson from the municipality was immediately available for comment. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory said on their Twitter that a home demolition had been reported in Beit Hanina Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces demolished two Palestinian homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, leaving a Palestinian family of nine homeless.

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, 202 Palestinians were displaced and 116 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Oct. 9. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016.
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