Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned building that was under construction in Beit Hanina in occupied East Jerusalem today, under the pretext that the building lacked the building licenses required.
Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers raided the Tal Al-Foul area of Beit Hanina, surrounded the building, and began razing it.
Local sources added that construction of the building began several years ago, but was stopped upon an order from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality.
A spokesperson for the municipality could not immediately be reached for comment.
Just a day prior, Jerusalem municipality bulldozers and Israeli police surrounded another building which was under construction in Beit Hanina, and hours later, a spokesperson for the municipality told Ma’an via email that court orders to dismantle the structure had been “enforced”.
According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, Israel’s discriminatory policies on planning and construction that allocate enormous budgets for Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem have choked development for Palestinian communities since Israel illegally annexed the territory in 1967.
The situation has forced many Palestinians to build homes without obtaining permits, while the Jerusalem Municipality enforces building laws on Palestinians much more stringently than on the Jewish population — even though the number of violations is much higher in the Jewish neighbourhoods, B’Tselem says.