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Israeli forces demolish 2 houses, room in Hizma

Feb. 15, 2017 2:35 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 16, 2017 3:03 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished two homes and a room of a third house on Wednesday morning in the neighborhood of Hizma in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.

Hizma’s mayor Muwaffaq al-Khatib told Ma’an that Israeli forces demolished a house and a room belonging to the Abd al-Aziz family, leaving eight members of the family homeless.

Al-Khatib added that an under-construction house belonging the Othman family was also demolished, with Israeli authorities claiming that the family lacked Israeli-issued building permits.

Both COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the Jerusalem municipality denied being involved in the demolitions. 

Al-Khatib called upon international and Palestinian rights groups to provide necessary support to Palestinians facing Israel’s demolition campaigns in Palestinian communities. Like other Palestinian neighborhoods, Hizma often faces demolition orders and actual demolitions by Israeli forces.

Clashes also routinely erupt between Palestinian youth in the neighborhood and Israeli forces. Last month, Israeli forces shot a young Palestinian man in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet during clashes in the village.

Locals told Ma'an at the time that clashes broke out after Israeli troops stormed the village, with local youth hurling stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired rubber-coated steel bullets and “showered the village’s alleys” with tear gas.

According to UN documentation, 1,601 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished by Israeli authorities, with more than 177 demolitions being reported in the Palestinian territory since the start of 2017.
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