Tue. Dec 12 2017

Eight displaced after Israel demolished their house

Sep 13 2017

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Israeli bulldozers demolished Palestinian home in East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan on Wednesday morning, displacing eight Palestinians, including four children. Workers from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality escorted by Israeli police forces raided the Ras al-Amud area of Silwan, surrounded a two-story home belonging to the Abu Farha family, and proceeded to raze it to the ground. The demolition came just after an Israeli court rejected an appeal, filed by the owners of the house, to postpone it. However, an appeal to postpone the demolition for five days was granted on Monday to the family to move its belongings out.

The house was owned by Motasem and Montaser abu-Farha, and was constructed one year ago. One of the brothers said he devotedly attempted to obtain licenses from the municipality. Recently, the Israeli occupation handed over demolition warrants to a number of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, claiming the houses were built without the needed licenses. Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem. Human rights groups have highlighted that due to discriminatory policies, Israel does not facilitate building for Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

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 neighbourhoods, 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, the NGO said, “fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago.” UN said that 254 Palestinians had been displaced and 190 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of August 28. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016

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