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Israeli bulldozers raze Palestinian structures east of Jerusalem

May 19, 2014 9:36 P.M. (Updated: May 20, 2014 3:11 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers on Monday razed Palestinian structures in al-Eizariya and the E1 area east of Jerusalem, leaving 15 people homeless, a local official said.

Sami Abu Ghaliya, secretary-general of the Bedouin Jahalin tribes, said Israeli authorities destroyed two small residential structures and four agricultural ones belonging to his family at the entrance of al-Eizariya.

Fourteen people were made homeless by the demolitions, Abu Ghaliya said.

Additionally, bulldozers destroyed two structures used to house cattle in the al-Kasarat area in E1.

The structures both measured 250 square meters.

Meanwhile, in nearby Jabal al-Baba, a tent belonging to Mahmoud Ibrahim Jahalin was destroyed along with two animal sheds, Abu Ghaliya said.

The tent was donated to Jahalin after Israeli bulldozers demolished his home on April 3.

E1 is an area northeast of Jerusalem and west of the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim. Israeli plans for settlement construction in the area have been strongly opposed by the international community, including the US.

Critics say Israeli settlement construction in E1 would divide the West Bank in two and make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state -- as envisaged by the internationally backed two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict -- virtually impossible.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including 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.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

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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