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Israel demolishes Palestinian residential building in East Jerusalem

Nov. 7, 2018 3:21 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2018 4:42 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned residential building in the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

A Ma'an reporter confirmed that more than 300 Israeli soldiers along with several bulldozers stormed the Shufat refugee camp and turned an entire street into a military base.

According to reports, Israeli forces isolated the four-storey residential building before bulldozers proceeded to demolish it.

Locals told Ma'an that the building was demolished under the pretext that it was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

The four-storey residential building, which is located near the Israeli separation barrier, belonged to Mahmoud Jaradat and measured 2400-square-meters; the building included 12 apartments and a garage.
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Jaradat said that it was home to two Palestinian families, made up of a total of 12 members, and noted that the building cost some three million shekels ($817,237) to construct.

Jaradat pointed out that the Israeli Civil Administration issued a demolition order about eight months ago, however, Jaradat’s lawyer was following up on the case and appealed for the postponement of the demolition.

Despite the appeal, the Israeli Civil Administration ordered for the demolition to be carried out.

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.

According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, the month of July recorded the highest number of Palestinian structures Israel has demolished or seized (54), and of Palestinian civilians displaced (97) in the occupied territories, since January 2017.

The report said that the cumulative number of structures targeted so far in 2018 (251) has remained below the figure in the equivalent period of 2017 (286). All of the incidents during July took place on grounds of lack of building permits.

OCHA added that in recent decades, Israeli settler organizations, with the support of the Israeli authorities, have taken control of properties within Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and some 180 Palestinian families are currently facing eviction cases, filed mainly by settler organizations.

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