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Palestinian demolishes own structures in Jerusalem

Dec. 4, 2018 12:41 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 4, 2018 12:41 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian resident of the Silwan neighborhood in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, demolished structures he owns upon order by the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem, on Monday evening.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Ahmad Siyam was forced to demolish his property of a storehouse, a garage and stairs, in the Ein al-Luza area, upon order by the Israeli municipality under the pretext that the structures were built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

The center added that municipality staff had raided several areas in Silwan; they allowed Siyam 48 hours to carry out the demolition before the municipality would demolish the structures.

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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