ISRAELI FORCES DEMOLISH 3 HOUSES IN EAST AL QUDS

Photo: AFP/Maan News Agency
Photo: AFP/Maan News Agency

Al-Quds, 16 Sya’ban 1436, 3 June 2015 (MINA) – Israeli forces demolished three Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighborhood and Salah al-Din street in occupied East Jerusalem early Tuesday morning, the owners told Ma’an.

They were told that the houses were demolished because they had been built without necessary licenses from the municipal council,  Ma’an News Agency  reports as quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).

Nidal Abu Rmeila said bulldozers under Israeli army escort had demolished two apartments, totaling 140 square meters, that he had been building in Silwan near the Moroccan Gate of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Abu Rmeila said he had not been able to obtain a license from the Jerusalem municipality as the building was located close to the Al-Aqsa compound in an area he claimed the Israeli antiquities authority is “greedily” interested in.

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He began construction in late 2014, after which the municipality inspectors ordered him to stop, issuing a demolition order.

Abu Rmeila said the order was postponed several times, adding that bulldozers had arrived two weeks ago to demolish the house, but left after it became clear they were too big to access the building.

Tuesday’s demolition was only possible, he said, after the Israelis “used a lift to carry small excavators and bring them close to the site.”

Abu Rmeila said Israeli troops had assaulted members of his family when they evacuated the home before the demolition.

He said that relatives Hashim Abu Rmeila, Izz al-Din Abu Rmeila and Nur al-Din Abu Rmeila sustained bruises, while his 70-year-old mother was injured when soldiers fired tear gas canisters into the house.

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Separately on Tuesday, Israeli forces demolished the upper story of a house on Salah al-Din Street near the Old City belonging to Rafiq al-Salayma.

A relative of the owner Abu Jabir al-Salayma told Ma’an that Israeli troops raided the house at 6 a.m. and forcibly evacuated the family before workers set about demolishing the upper floor.

The family house was built long ago, al-Salayma said, but “because the house was too small” they had added a new floor and roofed it with clay tiles.

The demolitions come less than a week after another house was demolished in Silwan.

Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem witness to an influx of Israeli settlers at the cost of ongoing demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families.

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While Jewish residents frequently take over Palestinian buildings with the protection of Israeli forces, government policies make it nearly impossible for Palestinian residents to obtain building permits, according to Israeli rights group the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. (T/P010/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)