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Israeli forces demolish Palestinian shop in East Jerusalem neighborhood

Feb. 13, 2018 1:02 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 15, 2018 11:33 A.M.)
(File)An Israeli soldier stands as a bulldozer pulls down the house of a Palestinian family near the West Bank town of Hebron on January 20, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian shop in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

Wafa reported that bulldozers of the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality, along with municipality staff and armed Israeli forces, raided the neighborhood and demolished the shop under the pretext that it was built without an Israeli-issued permit.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory also reported a demolition in Issawiya on their Twitter account.

According to Wafa, Israeli forces have imposed a series of restrictions on the neighborhood over the past two weeks, including closing off its main entrances in response to alleged stone throwing incidents from youth in the neighborhood against Israeli forces.

Wafa added that Israeli forces raided the town on Monday night and shot at homes and vehicles causing material damage. No injuries were reported.

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 UN documentation, three Palestinians were displaced and five buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Jan. 29. In 2017, a total of 142 buildings were destroyed in East Jerusalem, displacing 233 Palestinians.

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