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Palestinian families left homeless after East Jerusalem demolition

Nov. 6, 2018 2:06 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2018 4:57 P.M.)
(File)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers along with the Israeli Civil Administration staff stormed the Silwan Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished a building, on Tuesday.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli forces stormed Silwan and surrounded one of the neighborhood's buildings, which belonged to the Odeh family, and demolished it shortly after.

The building was demolished under the pretext that it was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

The center added that the building was built a year-and-a-half ago, and measured 20-square-meters; the building contained a small sandwich shop and was home to three Palestinian families.

Israeli bulldozers demolished the building, although Odeh's lawyer had filed a postponement request concerning the demolition, in order to attempt to obtain an Israeli permit.

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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