Israel demolishes 2 homes in East Jerusalem, displacing Palestinian family of 9
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities raided the SIlwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, where bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes under the pretext that they were built without a permit.
Locals told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozer escorted by armed forces raided and surrounded the neighborhood, closing all roads to the area before forcing residents of the two homes to evacuate prior to the demolition.
The homes belonged to Murad Abu Rajab and his son Raed. Raed told Ma’an that the two homes were built 14 months ago, and that their was a valid court decision postponing the demolition.
He added that he informed the officer in charge of Tuesday’s demolition of the postponement, but the Jerusalem Municipality crews carried out the demolition anyways.
Raed said that nine family members lived in the two homes.
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According to official Palestinian Authority (PA) Wafa news agency, two other homes also slated for demolition in Silwan and the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya were allegedly “spared at the last minute,” after the homeowners presented Israeli court orders that temporarily prevented the demolitions.
A spokesperson from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality was not immediately available for comment. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory said on their Twitter that a home demolition had been reported in Silwan Tuesday morning.
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 United Nations documentation, 202 Palestinians were displaced and 116 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Oct. 9. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016.
(Source / 17.10.2017)