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Israel to demolish 13 Palestinian-owned buildings in Issawiya

May 15, 2019 1:19 P.M. (Updated: May 17, 2019 10:43 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli Civil administration staff delivered a number of demolition notices and orders to the Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya, in occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, member of a local follow-up committee, told Ma'an that staff members from the Israeli Civil Administration, escorted by Israeli forces, stormed Issawiya and delivered demolition notices and orders to 13 Palestinian-owned buildings.

The demolition notices and orders were issued under the pretext that the buildings were built without the nearly-impossible to obtain Israeli permit.

Abu al-Hummus added that the staff members along with heavily armed Israeli forces raided several of the buildings and took photographs, as well as measurements of the premises.

Most of the demolition notices and orders targeted Palestinian-owned buildings, including residential and cultural buildings, that have been built since five to twelve years ago.

Abu al-Hummus called on international human rights organizations and groups to pressure the Israeli Civil Administration to approve a signed petition by Issawiya residents, in order to build and expand legally.

Israel uses the pretext of building without a permit to carry out demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes on a regular basis.

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.'"

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