JERUSALEM, December 29, 2015 (WAFA) – Bulldozers of the so-called Israeli West Jerusalem municipality, Tuesday, demolished a two-storey house under construction belonging to one of the Palestinian locals in the village of Sour Baher to the southeast of Jerusalem, citing unpermitted construction as a pretext.
A municipality staff, backed by an Israeli military force, stormed and cordoned off the area prior to the demolition of the house. The house belongs to local Eisa Raba’yeh.
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).
In the meantime, Abdullah Hourani Center for Studies – PLO, noted that Israeli forces demolished 478 Palestinian-owned properties throughout the West Bank, including Jerusalem, since the beginning of 2015. The center explained that at least 247 homes, and 231 other structures were reportedly demolished.