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Israel demolishes Palestinian flats in Jerusalem

Israeli bulldozers demolished a residential building in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem this morning under the pretext that it was built without a permit.

Local witnesses said that large numbers of Israeli forces and special units, accompanying bulldozers, stormed the neighbourhood from its eastern entrance.

Occupation forces raided the neighbourhood, surrounded the area and prevented movement near the building.

READ: Israel bulldozers demolish Palestinian coffee firm in Jerusalem

Witnesses added that the bulldozers demolished an under-construction residential building under the pretext that it was built without the nearly impossible-to-obtain Israeli building permit.

The building belonged to Palestinian resident, Nader Nasser Abu Riyaleh.

Muhammad Abu Al-Hummus, member of a local follow-up committee in the Issawiya neighbourhood, confirmed that Israeli bulldozers demolished two apartments, which were still under construction, in the residential building.

He pointed out that the Israeli municipality issues demolition orders for residential houses, commercial and agricultural establishments, in addition to imposing fines and transferring cases to Israeli courts under the pretext of unauthorised construction on an almost daily basis.

Israeli forces had distributed demolition notices to several houses and residential buildings, in which dozens of Palestinian families live, last week, he added.

According to Daniel Seidemann of the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, "Since 1967, the Government of Israel has directly engaged in the construction of 55,000 units for Israelis in East Jerusalem; in contrast, fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago. So much for [Jerusalem Mayor Nir] Barkat's claim 'we build for everyone'."

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