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Israel demolishes family home in East Jerusalem

Sept. 5, 2018 1:42 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 5, 2018 4:53 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers demolished a home, on Wednesday, in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem.

Local witnesses informed Ma'an that a large number of Israeli forces and staff from the Jerusalem Municipality raided Silwan and surrounded the house.

Israeli forces prevented residents from reaching the home, while bulldozers began to demolish it under the pretext of being built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the demolished home belonged to Palestinian resident Ali Abu Sway, and was built five years ago.

Abu Sway said that Israeli bulldozers demolished his home without giving him a prior notice, noting that an Israeli court hearing session was scheduled to take place to consider the decision to postpone the demolition, on Wednesday.

Israel uses the pretext of building without a permit to carry out demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes on a regular basis.

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.'"

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