Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian House in Jerusalem Town, Shoot Two

JERUSALEM, March 1, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday morning demolished a Palestinian house under construction and shot and injured two Palestinians in the Jerusalem town of Silwan, said Wadi Hilweh Information Center.

Large Israeli troops escorted a bulldozer to the Silwan neighborhood of Wadi Yasoul around 5:00 AM, cordoning it off and demolishing the family house of Yousef Abed Simrin, citing unlicensed building as a pretext.

The center added that troops leading police dogs broke into and ransacked the house before a bulldozer demolished the house and the wall surrounding it.

The center reported Muhammad Shweiki, Secretary-General of local Fatah Committee, as saying that Simrin started the construction of his 100-square-meter house in September before he died.

Simrin’s family, comprising of his wife and seven sons aged between 3 and 20, was planning to relocate to the furnished house before demolition.

Israeli troops prevented locals from approaching the demolition scene, assaulting, pepper-spraying them and indiscriminately opening fire on them.

At least two locals were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets in the chest and shoulder respectively. One of the injured sustained rib fractures after he was shot in his chest.

Three other locals also suffocated from excessive tear gas inhalation.

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.