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ISRAELI FORCES DEMOLISH PALESTINIAN BUILDING IN EAST JERUSALEM

beit-hanina-oost-jeruzalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities demolished a Palestinian-owned building that was under construction in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Israel’s Jerusalem municipality confirmed.

 
Witnesses told Ma’an on Tuesday morning that Israeli police officers stormed the building as police vehicles and bulldozers surrounded it, and later Monday afternoon, Jerusalem municipality spokesperson Rachel Greenspan confirmed to Ma’an in a written statement that court orders to dismantle the structure had been “enforced.”
 
She said the building was constructed on land designated for a new road planned by the municipality. “Cease and desist orders issued in 2015 were ignored, and owners continued to construct an additional four floors on the illegal structure,” Greenspan said.
 
Earlier Tuesday morning, Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank also demolished Palestinian structures in the northern Jordan Valley in two separate incidents.
 
Israeli authorities have stepped up issuing demolition warrants for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, particularly after Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat warned that the demolition of the illegal Israeli outpost of Amona in the occupied West Bank would be met with the mass demolition of Palestinian homes lacking the nearly impossible to obtain Israeli-issued building permits.
 
Amona was evacuated and dismantled by an Israeli Supreme Court order last week.
 
In January, two Palestinian homes were demolished in Beit Hanina, and more than 100 Palestinian homes have been destroyed in the occupied Palestinian territory since the beginning of the year, including 14 in occupied East Jerusalem.
 
Meanwhile, Netanyahu has also pledged to lift all restrictions on settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem, while more than 6,000 housing units have been approved for construction in both East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the beginning of 2017.
 
Furthermore, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed into law the contested outpost “Regularization bill” late Monday night, granting official Israeli governmental recognition to more than a dozen illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank established on private Palestinian lands.
 
In addition to land seizures and home demolitions, the crackdown on Palestinian Jerusalemites has also seen the escalation of violent night raids by Israeli police, carried out in breach of protocol and without proper search warrants.
 
During a predawn detention raid Monday that targeted the families of Palestinians who were either slain or incarcerated after carrying out or allegedly carrying out attacks, one family’s testimony described violent assaults by masked police officers.
 
The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.
 
(Source / 07.02.2017)

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