JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities demolished a Palestinian-owned building that was under construction in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Israel’s Jerusalem municipality confirmed.
Witnesses told Ma’an on Tuesday morning that Israeli police officers stormed the building as police vehicles and bulldozers surrounded it, and later Monday afternoon, Jerusalem municipality spokesperson Rachel Greenspan confirmed to Ma’an in a written statement that court orders to dismantle the structure had been “enforced."
She said the building was constructed on land designated for a new road planned by the municipality. “Cease and desist orders issued in 2015 were ignored, and owners continued to construct an additional four floors on the illegal structure,” Greenspan said.
In addition to land seizures and home demolitions, the crackdown on Palestinian Jerusalemites has also seen the escalation of violent night raids by Israeli police, carried out in breach of protocol and without proper search warrants.
During a predawn detention raid Monday that targeted the families of Palestinians who were either slain or incarcerated after carrying out or allegedly carrying out attacks, one family’s testimony described violent assaults by masked police officers.
The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the "Judaization" of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.