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Israeli home demolitions leave 51 homeless near Jerusalem

Aug. 28, 2014 9:26 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2014 9:44 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Thursday demolished six homes near Jerusalem, leaving 51 Palestinians homeless and bringing the year's total displaced in the West Bank and East Jerusalem up to 752.

A Ma'an reporter said that Israeli civil administration workers raided the Sheikh Anbar neighborhood in Zuayyim village without prior notice and demolished a number of structures belonging to the al-Saidi, al-Jahalin, and Abu al-Hawa families that authorities claimed were built without a permit.

The structures included five homes and three cattle sheds.

Khader al-Saidi, one of the newly-displaced residents, said that authorities demolished the homes with bulldozers without allowing the families to remove their possession.

This led to an exchange of insults and hand scuffles between residents and Israeli forces, he added.

Al-Saidi said that his family had lived in the area since the 1950s, and that they had bought the three dunam piece of land the structures were built on 10 years ago.

"Five years ago (the family) built residential structures and cattle-raising structures," in the area, he said, adding that civil administration bulldozers had destroyed the family's structures three times in the last two years.

Al-Saidi said that each structure was around 100 square meters, and that in total they house 38 people between them.

He added that the Israeli civil administration had handed a notice of demolition for a residential structure in the area belonging to his brother Muhammad, but his brother had traveled to Jordan on Wednesday to receive health treatment. It was not clear if they planned to demolish his home before the returned.

During the raid, bulldozers also razed a structure belonging to Ahmad Murshed Jahhalin, which was built in 1999 and housed 13 people. A sheep barn was also destroyed.

A cow shed belonging to Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa was also destroyed.

Israel has destroyed more than 377 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2014, displacing 752 people, according to UNOCHA.

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.
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