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East Jerusalem home demolitions continue

July 13, 2010 1:15 P.M. (Updated: July 14, 2010 4:29 P.M.)
Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli bulldozers demolished two homes in the East Jerusalem town of Al-Isawiya on Tuesday morning.

Witnesses in Al-Isawiya said Israeli forces entered the town early in the morning, blocking off main streets and forcing entry into the two buildings later demolished.

The families of Sabah Abu Rmeileh and Mahmoud Abu Rayaleh reported that one woman, Sabah Abu Rmeileh, was injured in the incident during which clashes erupted. Both homes were reportedly under construction, and a third structure serving as a small shed was also demolished.

Reports from Reuters said a cameraman captured a third demolition in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, which the Israeli press billed as the first home demolition in eight months.

The demolitions were the first in nearly a month, following the destruction of two agricultural buildings in Abu Tur and Silwan. The last home demolition was a self-demolition ordered by an Israeli court on Nayef Kasteru, a father of three living in the Aqbat As-Saraya neighborhood of Jerusalem's Old City on 4 July.

Fatah Revolutionary Council member Dmitry Dliani said the demolitions, coming a day after the announcement of plans to build 32 more settlement homes in the Pisgat Ze'ev settlement, showed the "true colors of Israel."

Dilani noted that the demolitions also came between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the US, and the nation's Middle East envoy's visit to the region, expected to be his last unless proximity talks are transformed into direct peace negotiations.

In a statement about the demolitions, Dilani said the only conclusion to be drawn about the timing of the demolitions was that "the occupying power and the American administration share a common interest in harming the Palestinians of Jerusalem."
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