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Israeli forces demolish 3 structures in East Jerusalem, leaving family of 6 homeless

Feb. 21, 2018 3:55 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 22, 2018 4:23 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian house, agricultural structure, and a commercial structure in the Shufat and Beit Hanina neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces escorted several bulldozers, along with crews from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, into Beit Hanina and demolished a cosmetic salon that belonged to Daoud Muheisen.

Forces then raided the Shufat neighborhood, where they demolished a house belonging to Saleh Abu Khdeir in addition to an agricultural structure, also belonging to Abu Khdeir.

The house consisted of a total space of more than 110 square meters, while the agricultural structure, which was built in 2006, consisted of 215 square meters.

Abu Khdeir told Ma’an that six family members lived in the house.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem, though the Jerusalem municipality has claimed that compared to the Jewish population, they receive a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which also see high approval ratings.

For Jewish Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem’s illegal settlements, the planning, marketing, development, and infrastructure are funded and executed by the Israeli government. By contrast, in Palestinian neighborhoods, all the burden falls on individual families to contend with a lengthy permit application that can last several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

According to Daniel Seidemann of the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, “Since 1967, the Government of Israel has directly engaged in the construction of 55,000 units for Israelis in East Jerusalem; in contrast, fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago. So much for (Jerusalem Mayor Nir) Barkat’s claim ‘we build for everyone.’”

According to UN documentation, three Palestinians were displaced and five buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Jan. 29. In 2017, a total of 142 buildings were destroyed in East Jerusalem, displacing 233 Palestinians.

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