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  • 12:19 - 13 February 2019

Israel demolishes 3 Palestinian-owned houses, warehouse in Jerusalem

 Israeli bulldozers, belonging to the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem, demolished three Palestinian-owned housing structures and a warehouse in occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

Sources told Ma’an that the Israeli municipality demolished 3 houses and a warehouse in Silwan and Jabal al-Mukabbir, without any prior notices.

In Silwan, Jamal Dkeik told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers demolished two apartments and a warehouse; Dkeik’s son was supposed to move into one of the apartments next April, while the other apartment is still under construction.

Dkeiks added that he started building 6 the apartment six months ago, and was summoned to meet with the municipality early this year.

He added that his lawyer was able to reach an agreement with the municipality that Dkeik demolishes the front side or interface of the building and issue the necessary licenses.

Dkeik did start to demolish the front side of the building manually, however, Israeli forces detained Dkeik’s worker 3 times in a row as he worked on the demolition.

He pointed out that demolishing the second floor had effects on the first floor that is now under threat of being collapsed.

Meanwhile in Jabal al-Mukabbir, Israeli bulldozers demolished a 130-square-meter house, belonging to local Firyal Jaabis, who lives in the house along with her children.

Ali Jaabis, a relative of Firyal, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers escorted by Israeli forces surrounded the house, evacuated it and demolished it without a prior notice.

The house was built one-and-a-half years ago.

Jaabis added that the Israeli municipality had frozen the demolition order until March.

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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