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Israel issues demolition orders for East Jerusalem buildings

Jan. 5, 2014 8:54 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 7, 2014 9:39 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Jerusalem municipality workers accompanied by Israeli police on Sunday issued demolition orders for houses, shops, storage buildings, and a sports field in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem, residents said.

The orders were for buildings in the neighborhoods of Wadi al-Hilweh, Wad Yasoul, Bir Ayub, Ein al-Lawza, al-Abbassiya, and Ras al-Amoud.

Resident Dawoud Siyam said that demolition orders in Beir Ayub were hung on a large building that has been standing since 1814, which currently houses four different shops.

He added that orders were posted on a shed that was built in 2002, and that each notice was accompanied by a 15-shekel fine.

In Wadi al-Hilweh, a demolition order was hung on 850-meter sports field which was build in 2002, locals said. Notices were also hung on four buildings on the field.

Jawad Siyam, the director of Wadi al-Hilweh information center, said he was also handed a demolition order for his house, which was built in 1952.

Additionally, Israeli authorities handed Khalid al-Zeer a demolition order for his home in al-Abassiya neighborhood.

Al-Zeer said he built the home for his seven-member family after their house was demolished in August last year. He said an Israeli judge granted him permission to build the new home.

Israeli forces also handed demolition orders to three houses and a cattle ranch in the neighborhoods of Wad Yasoul, Ein al-Lawza, and Ras al-Amoud, locals said.

A spokesman for Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories -- the unit within Israel's Ministry of Defense that heads up home demolitions -- did not immediately return calls or emails seeking comment.

In October, Israeli municipality officials issued demolition orders for the homes of over 15,000 Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada. The buildings have yet to be demolished.

Israel destroyed more than 500 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2013, displacing over 850 people, according to UN figures.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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