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Israeli forces demolish part of Silwan home

Aug. 20, 2013 11:02 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 5:06 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished part of a residential property in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Tuesday, a local center said.

An Israeli police unit raided Silwan at dawn and closed off several streets before bulldozers demolished a room in a property belonging to Khalid al-Zeir, the Wadi Hilweh information center said.

Al-Zeir, his wife, and their seven children slept in the room, which is 60 square meters. Bulldozers also destroyed a tract of land and uprooted several olive trees, claiming that Jewish antiquities are buried under the land, al-Zeir said.

The room was built seven years ago by al-Zeir.

Israeli forces also destroyed a wall and an iron gate belonging to the al-Abbasi family, the Wadi Hilweh center said.

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.

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