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Israeli forces demolish 2 houses in East Jerusalem

May 21, 2013 10:36 A.M. (Updated: May 21, 2013 8:04 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished two houses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur on Tuesday, locals said, leaving seven people homeless.

Israeli forces raided two homes owned by the Shalan family early Tuesday and forced them to evacuate the property and take their belongings with them, members of the family told Ma'an.

Israeli bulldozers then destroyed the properties.

"The house was built 12 years ago on land that my parents bought a long time ago. We tried so many times to get a building permit but the Israeli courts kept refusing and we used to receive financial penalties and they threatened us with demolition three years ago," Um Mahmoud told Ma'an.

Seven people lived in the properties, she added.

According to the UN, 33 percent of all Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem lack Israeli-issued building permits, which are difficult to obtain, potentially placing at least 93,100 residents at risk of displacement.

Since 1967, the Israeli authorities have demolished some 2,000 houses in East Jerusalem.
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