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Israeli forces demolish Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem

March 6, 2018 1:47 P.M. (Updated: March 10, 2018 1:38 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers demolished a cement wall and a carwash belonging to a Palestinian in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Tuesday morning.

The structures belonged to Silwan resident Abed Odeh, from the Bir Ayyoub area of the town.

Odeh told Ma’an that the structures were demolished by Israeli authorities without any prior notice, adding that they were destroyed under the pretext of being built without difficult-to-obtain Israeli-issued construction permits.

He added that this is the second time his carwash, that was built two years ago, has been demolished.

Israeli officials from the Jerusalem Municipality also confiscated the contents of the carwash, according to Odeh.

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 UN documentation, three Palestinians were displaced and five buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Jan. 29. In 2017, a total of 142 buildings were destroyed in East Jerusalem, displacing 233 Palestinians.

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