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Jerusalem municipality issues demolition warrants in Silwan

Nov. 4, 2015 9:50 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 4, 2015 5:34 P.M.)
A Palestinian walks through a destroyed home in Silwan after it was razed by Israeli authorities in March. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP, File)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- The Jerusalem municipality on Tuesday posted demolition warrants outside a mosque and a commercial structure in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, a Silwan-based Israeli watchdog said.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center told Ma’an that inspectors from the municipality entered Silwan's Abu Tayih quarter and posted “administrative demolition warrants” on the entrance to Al-Qaqa Mosque.

The warrant read that the mosque was built without the necessary licensing from the Jerusalem municipality.

Manager of the mosque, Hani Abu Tayih, told Ma’an that the 120 square-meter mosque was built three years ago and serves around 5,000 residents. The premises, he added, is built of bricks and includes a prayer hall, restrooms, and a room to perform ablutions.

A previous warrant was issued to the mosque on August 20, warning that its demolition would be carried out in the next 30 to 90 days, the Wadi Hilweh center said.

Another demolition order was posted on a carwash in the Beer Ayyoub quarter of Silwan before municipality inspectors took photos of surrounding commercial structures and residential buildings.

The center told Ma’an that such demolitions are regularly carried out under Article 212 of the Israeli Planning and Building Law of 1965.

Since Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, the Israeli government has enacted extensive demographic and physical changes to the city in effort to “Judaize” the area.

As of 2014, 14 percent of land in East Jerusalem was zoned for residential Palestinian construction, according to the Association for Civil Rightsin Israel, while Jewish neighborhoods in the occupied area were growing at rates of 75 to 125 percent.

On Monday, Israeli forces demolished a building in the Beit Hanina neighborhood as well as a Palestinian home in the Jabal al-Mukkabir neighborhood.

Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in the area that sees regular demolitions, and last month Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli security personnel forcibly evicted nine Palestinians them from their homes.

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