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Israel demolishes East Jerusalem home

Feb. 6, 2013 1:02 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 8, 2013 12:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished a two-story Palestinian home in East Jerusalem on Tuesday, making 30 people homeless, official news agency Wafa reported.

Muhammad Castero, 52, a resident of the building, told Wafa that Israel issued a demolition order for the home 50 days ago on the pretext that it was built without a permit.

"We are refugees now, we don't have any shelter. Where should we, our children and elderly people go after our house was demolished?" he said.

Four families lived in the Beit Hanina home, which was constructed six years ago. The families had hired a lawyer to prevent the demolition.

"This is our land and we will not leave it despite the practices of the occupation," Castero added.

Last week, Israeli forces delivered demolition notices to 200 Palestinian families in Fuheidat neighborhood east of Anata village in northeast Jerusalem, residents said.

A day earlier, Israel demolished at least four buildings and a sewage network in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

Israeli forces demolished 412 housing units in East Jerusalem between 2004-2012, according to B'Tselem, leaving 1,636 Palestinians homeless.

Palestinian homes are usually demolished under the pretext of not having a building permit. Figures from Israeli NGO Bimkom show that 95 percent of Palestinian applications for a building permit are rejected.

Rights groups say that Israel implements a series of discriminatory practices in housing, planning, residency rights and budget allocation in East Jerusalem, with the aim of reducing the number of Palestinians living in the city.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.
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