Israeli bulldozers demolish two-storey building in Jerusalem-district town

Israeli bulldozers demolish two-storey building in Jerusalem-district town

RAMALLAH, Wednesday, May 25, 2022 (WAFA) – The Israeli occupation authorities today demolished a two-storey Palestinian building in Beit Safafa town, south of Jerusalem, according to WAFA correspondent. She said that a sizable police force barged their way into the town, surrounded the two-storey building of Mohammad Judeh and Yazid Tina before a bulldozer razed it, reducing it to rubble and displacing two families comprising 13 members. She added that the first storey consisted of a 500-square-meter parking lot and the second storey consisted two apartments, each of which covered an area of 120 square meters. The owner of one of the apartments, Judeh, said that he has submitted several appeals to the court against the demolition of his apartment. In the first time, Judeh paid 30,000 shekels (some $9,000) and the demolition order was cancelled. However, the order was reinstated later on and he had to pay 50,000 shekels (some $15,000) and the order was put off until September. One lady appears in a video posted on the Facebook page of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center explaining that police leading dogs forcibly entered Judeh’s apartment, handcuffed and led him to a police vehicle, without allowing him the chance to show them the construction license or relevant legal documents to defend his case. Judeh’s wife, Widad, appears in the same video saying that police suddenly carried out the demolition without any prior notice to the family and affirming that they have a construction license. She was bringing her child from a nearby kindergarten when police denied her entry to the apartment. Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem. At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city. 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. According to a report by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Israeli High Court could be liable for war crimes for their policies that led to the dispossession of Palestinians from their properties in Area C of the West Bank. The report, Fake Justice, shows that the court’s support of Israeli planning policy is tantamount to support for dispossession and forcible transfer of Palestinians, a war crime under international law. K.F.

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