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Israeli authorities demolish car wash, 2 other buildings in East Jerusalem

Aug. 16, 2017 3:40 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 17, 2017 2:52 P.M.)
A demolition in Beit Hanina. (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces demolished two commercial structures in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

According to Wafa, a car wash belonging to the Badr family was demolished in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina, while another unspecified commercial structure was demolished in the al-Salaa area of the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir.

A Palestinian home was also reportedly demolished in the neighborhood of Silwan.

A spokesperson for the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The three demolitions occurred on the same day as Israeli forces demolished a two-story building in the neighborhood of Issawiya.

Israeli authorities have stepped up issuing demolition warrants for Palestinians in East Jerusalem in 2017, 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.

According to UN documentation, as of July 31, 96 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished by Israel in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, displacing at least 166 Palestinians. A total of 190 Palestinian buildings were demolished in East Jerusalem in 2016.

The Jerusalem municipality has claimed that compared to the Jewish population, it receives a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which see high approval rates.

However, testimonies collected by the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ) found that the procedures to apply for Israeli-issued building permits were lengthy, sometimes lasting for several years, while the application costs could reach up to 300,000 shekels ($79,180).

As four out of five of Palestinians in East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, applying for costly building permits is nearly impossible, leading to only seven percent of Jerusalem building permits go to Palestinian neighborhoods.
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