JERUSALEM, July 12, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday morning demolished a several Palestinian structures during a raid into Anata town, northeast of Jerusalem, said WAFA correspondent.
Large Israeli troops escorted a bulldozer to the Jerusalem town of Anata, cordoning it off and demolishing a plant farm, a car repair shop and knocking down several tents, citing unlicensed building as a pretext.
The plant farm reportedly belongs to Muhammad Hilweh, while the car repair shop belong to Ashraf Jolani.
The bulldozers also demolished retaining walls in the Anata localities of al-Fahidat and al-Bahira.
Clashes broke out between troops and local Palestinian youth who protested the demolition and attempted to block the troops’ passage.
Israeli troops prevented locals from approaching the demolition scene for almost two hours before they withdrew, assaulting and spraying them with tear gas canisters.
Despite filing applications, Palestinians in the West Bank, especially East Jerusalem and Area C, are rarely granted construction permits by Israeli authorities. As a result, they are forced to embark on construction without obtaining rarely-granted permits.
Israel frequently utilizes the lack of construction permits as a pretext for demolishing Palestinian houses.
Many humanitarian and legal bodies have maintained that Israel have been adopting planning policies discriminatory against Palestinians in West Bank Area C and East Jerusalem, making it extremely difficult for them to obtain building permits.
“As a result, many Palestinians build without permits to meet their housing needs and risk having their structures demolished. Palestinians must have the opportunity to participate in a fair and equitable planning system that ensures their needs are met,” OCHA reports.
Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been subject to Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied their citizenship rights and are instead classified only as “residents” whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.
They are also discriminated against in all aspects of life including housing, employment and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel’s separation wall.