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Israeli forces demolish 5-story residential building in Abu Dis

Sept. 29, 2014 11:57 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 1, 2014 10:46 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished three floors of a residential Palestinian building in Abu Dis overnight Sunday on the pretext that the owners lacked building permission, locals said.

Witnesses told Ma'an that five Israeli bulldozers accompanied by Israeli forces surrounded a five-story building in Abu Dis after midnight and began demolishing three floors at around 1:40 a.m.

Israeli forces closed all roads leading to the building before the demolition.

Owner Muatasim Adilah, a lecturer at Al-Quds University, said that Israeli forces ordered him and his family to leave the building without being allowed to remove any belongings.

Neighbors and local residents were not allowed near the area during the demolition.

Three of the five floors were destroyed, with the other two floors left uninhabitable.

Adilah said that the first two floors were built in 1959 while an additional three floors were constructed several years ago after obtaining a license from the Palestinian Authority.

Israel's Jerusalem municipality issued a demolition warrant for the additional three floors on April 30, 2013 after claiming that the building is located within the municipality's boundaries.

Adilah then tried to obtain a construction license from the Jerusalem municipality but it was rejected.

The building is 1,000 square meters and built on privately owned land.

Clashes broke out following the demolition, and Israeli forces shot three youths with live fire, witnesses said.

The demolition lasted four hours.

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

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