Israeli Forces Demolish Three Stores, House under Construction in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, May 19, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday morning demolished three stores and a house under construction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to the south of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

WAFA correspondent reported that large Israeli troops, accompanied by a bulldozer, stormed the Silwan neighborhood of ‘Ayn al-Lawza (Loza), where they cordoned off three stores  and a house under construction belonging to Anas Karama and proceeded to demolish them purportedly for being built without a construction permit.

Israeli troops cordoned off the demolition scene in order to prevent the house owner and reporters from confronting or reporting the demolition process.

The stores occupy an estimated area of 200 square meters, said the owners.

This came only a day after staff from the Israeli West Jerusalem Municipality took photos for the stores and the surrounding area and handed demolition notices for several local homes.

Despite filing applications and constantly trying to build houses following the legal ways, Palestinians in the West Bank, especially East Jerusalem, are rarely granted construction permits by Israeli occupation authorities.

Israel frequently utilizes the lack of construction permits as a pretext for demolishing Palestinian houses.

Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem are living in a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied citizenship and classified only as ‘residents’ whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city.

They are also discriminated against in all aspects of life including housing, employment and services, and remain unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel’s separation wall.

In 2014 alone, Israeli authorities demolished a total of 97 buildings in East Jerusalem, while demolished five others in 2015, under the pretext of building without a construction permit, reported the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian (OCHA).