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Israel razes Palestinian home in East Jerusalem

Nov. 24, 2010 11:23 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 25, 2010 11:10 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli police on Wednesday razed a Palestinian house in occupied East Jerusalem, shortly before the owner arrived home with a court order halting the demolition.

Scores of police and a single bulldozer were involved in the operation, which leveled the small house in the At-Tur neighborhood near the Mount of Olives.

House owner Abed Zablah, a father of five, showed Agence France-Presse a letter issued early Wednesday by the Jerusalem District Court ordering a halt to the demolition.

But by the time he got home with the letter, the house was already flattened, he said.

Israeli police had no immediate comment on the demolition.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley destroyed two buildings and a tent being used by Palestinians in Massu'a, southwest of Nablus, near the border with Jordan, a military spokesman told AFP.

The buildings, which were being used to house cattle, were demolished because they had been erected illegally on public land, the spokesman said.

Permits for Palestinians to build in East Jerusalem are extremely rare, rights groups say, and Israel frequently issues demolition orders despite the sensitive nature of such operations on land the Palestinians want as capital of their future state.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the rest of the world. The state considers the whole of Jerusalem its "eternal and indivisible" capital.
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