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Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home in Silwan, shoot 3

March 1, 2016 10:36 A.M. (Updated: March 1, 2016 3:40 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian home under construction in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, shooting and injuring three residents, according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center.

Majdi al-Abbasi, who works for the Silwan-based center, told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed the Wadi Yasoul area of the neighborhood around dawn, surrounding and demolishing the home.

Al-Abbasi said resident Yousif Abed Simrin began construction on the home in September without a license from the Jerusalem municipality, adding that Simrin has since died.

Israeli military forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets at locals attempting to reach the area during the demolition, injuring residents Muhammad Simrin, Ahmad Awad, Izz al-Din Simrin, and Khalid Shweiki. Abu Yousif Simrin also suffered from tear gas inhalation, al-Abbasi added.

Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to face ongoing threat of demolition and displacement.

State-sanctioned efforts to create a Jewish majority since Israel illegally occupied the city in 1967 make it difficult for Palestinian residents to obtain permits for construction, often forcing them to build illegally.

Meanwhile, Jewish settlers continue to take over Palestinian homes in Silwan. Last week, two Palestinian buildings received eviction notices following moves by right-wing group Ateret Cohanim to take over the property.

Following a major takeover of Palestinian homes by Ateret Cohanim last year, the PLO slammed what it termed Israel's "systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians" in Silwan.

The PLO said that Israeli policies "in Silwan aim not only to alter the historic character of the area and to consolidate Israeli control over the Old City of Jerusalem ... but also contribute to the systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem."

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