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Israeli forces demolish Palestinian structures in Jerusalem for second consecutive day

bij atarot

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Bulldozers escorted by Israeli police and Jerusalem municipality inspectors demolished on Wednesday several Palestinian structures located adjacent to the Atarot settlement industrial park north of Jerusalem, a day after structures were torn down in neighboring Beit Hanina, as well as in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.One of the owners of the structures, Kamal Abu Sneina, told Ma’an that Israeli forces and municipality inspectors deployed into the area and started to tear down his structures while the owners were not present.“When we arrived, we were forced to stay away,” Abu Sneina said, adding that police officers detained him inside a police vehicle while the demolition was carried out.The demolished properties, he said, were two tin shacks, four shipping containers used as stores and offices, in addition to a vehicle, a diesel tank, and two trucks.Abu Sneina added that he was not given the opportunity to empty the structures and vehicles of his belongings before they were destroyed.In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for the Jerusalem Municipality said that “the Jerusalem Zoning Authority and the National Police Force enforced a court order by removing temporary structures illegally placed on public land in the Atarot area,” confirming that they were not located within the settlement area itself.“No permits were requested for the structures, nor would such permits be granted as the land in question is not owned by the individual who owns the containers. The demolition order was the result of court procedures dating back to October 2015, which were launched as a result of the individual’s refusal to voluntarily vacate the public land.”The Atarot industrial park is located within a narrow space carved out by Israel’s separation wall — cutting it off from the Qalandiya refugee camp and al-Ram just east beyond the wall in the central occupied West Bank — and is the Jerusalem Municipality’s largest industrial zone.The park, expropriated into the Israeli-defined greater Jerusalem municipal area in the years following the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, is also neighbored by the Palestinian communities and industrial sites in the villages of Beit Hanina to the south and Bir Nabala to the west.Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq said in June that it had “documented increased pressure by the Jerusalem municipality on residents and business owners in Beit Hanina located near the Israeli settlement of Atarot,” adding that locals linked the increase in inspections to a recently constructed Israeli supermarket nearby.“Al-Haq is concerned that Palestinian residents and business owners in Beit Hanina and nearby areas will continue to be targeted by the Jerusalem Municipality as Atarot settlement develops,” the statement added.The incident came as the latest in a series of demolition carried out by the Jerusalem Municipality on Palestinian structures in the area.On Tuesday, a Palestinian home under construction in Beit Hanina was demolished for lacking the required Israeli-issued permits, within hours of structures being demolished in the Silwan neighborhood further south in East Jerusalem.Last week, 43 Palestinians, including 25 children, were made homeless in less than 48 hours due to Israeli demolitions in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir to the south and a Beduoin refugee community in Anata in the northern area of the city, according the UN.Spokesperson for UNRWA Chris Gunness said in a statement that the July 12 and 13 demolitions included structures funded by an international NGO, while those displaced included a 48-year-old man suffering from Parkinson’s disease, a 48-year-old man with a physical disability rendering him unable to walk, an 85-year-old woman, and a woman seven months into her pregnancy.“While condemning this disregard for international law, we would respectfully remind Israel, the occupying power, that under the Fourth Geneva Convention, it has an obligation to respect family rights including the dwellings of the protected population — not destroy them,” Gunness wrote.Only 14 percent of East Jerusalem land is zoned for Palestinian residential construction, while one-third of Palestinian land has been confiscated since 1967 to build illegal Jewish-only settlements, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).Nearly 579 homes have been destroyed in the city over the last twelve years, leaving 2,218 Palestinians homeless in total, Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem reported.

(Source / 20.07.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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