Israeli Police Demolishes Building in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, August 11, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli police Tuesday demolished a three-storey commercial building in the Atarot Industrial Zone, to the north of Jerusalem, according to local sources.

Witnesses told WAFA that an Israeli police force accompanied by heavy machinery broke into the area at about 5am, and demolished the building, which is owned by the Abu-Diab family, under the pretext of construction without permission.

The building is located in Area C, under complete Israeli jurisdiction.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between December 30, 2014 and January 12, 2015, the Israeli authorities demolished 27 Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank and five in East Jerusalem, in addition to two self demolition incidents, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) affirmed that the Israeli authorities do not only demolish Palestinian homes, but also hinder the issuance of any building licenses for Palestinians in Jerusalem and its boundaries.

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.