Israel demolishes East Jerusalem home, leaving 35 homeless

1. Israel demolition
Israeli machinery demolish a Palestinian house in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on May 10, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israeli occupation forces demolished a residential building in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, leaving 35 people, the majority of them children, homeless.اضافة اعلان

“Municipality personnel came at 9am, broke the doors, expelled us, and didn’t let us take any belongings,” said Faris Rajabi, 35, who lived in the building in the neighborhood in Silwan.

The Palestinian news agency, Wafa, stated that the Rajabi family owned the building.

The demolition of the three-story building was carried out because the owners allegedly lacked the required permits, according to Israel.

Israel regularly razes Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Rajabi said his family had gone to great lengths and paid over $100,000 in fines and fees in order to settle the issue in the courts.

The catch, according to a UN study, is that such permits are “virtually impossible” to obtain, and the result is a chronic housing shortage.

The building included five apartments and housed 35 members of the Rajabi family, Rajabi told AFP.

Silwan, adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City, is the site of a campaign by Jewish settler groups to expand Israeli presence there.

Palestinians have decried the influx of settlers, stating that they seeking to push them out of their own neighborhood.

The demolition was “political, not legal,” said Rajabi, adding that “they anyway don’t give us permits, and this is a policy of dispossession and ethnic cleansing.”

The Palestinian Red Cross said five Palestinians, including a journalist, were beaten by police at the site of the demolition, adding one was hospitalized.

Nearly 40 structures have been razed in East Jerusalem this year, displacing about 100 people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs.

Some owners prefer to raze their homes themselves to avoid being charged thousands of shekels for the demolition, by the city’s demolition crews.

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It later annexed East Jerusalem in a move never recognized by most of the international community.

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