Israeli occupation authorities on Saturday forced a Palestinian family to demolish their own home in occupied East Jerusalem. Israel had issued an order to demolish the two-apartment house in the Silwan neighbourhood, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, calling for the building to be returned to his original structure as a two room property.
"Israeli authorities gave us until December 10 to demolish our house," Murad Hashmyeh told the Anadolu Agency. He and his brother lived in the property with their families.
He said 14 people live in the house – half of them children. The property was built 20 years ago.
According to Hashmyeh, Israel threatened to charge the family for the demolition. Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East war. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming Jerusalem as the unified capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognised by the international community.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Israeli settlement building on the land to be illegal.
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaise" Jerusalem with the aim of wiping away its Arab and Islamic identity and driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.