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Israel demolishes Palestinian home, displaces 35 residents in Jerusalem

Israeli occupation forces yesterday demolished the Al-Rajabi family house in occupied East Jerusalem's Silwan neighbourhood, displacing 35 members of the family, witnesses said.

Fares Al-Rajabi, 34, said that 35 residents, most of them children, had been left with no shelter, adding that the staff of the Israeli municipality arrived at 9am, broke the doors, evicted the residents and demolished the three storey house.

He said that the family received a final notice about the demolition during the holiday of Eid Al-Fitr last week. "We paid 50,000 shekels [$14,470] to stop the demolition, but all of this was useless," he said.

The three storey house consisted of five apartments and several shops owned by the family.

"We paid about 300,000 shekels [$86,850] in different types of fees to the Israeli authorities, attempting to get permits and building licenses," he said. "We hired lawyers and engineers, but all of that was useless," he continued.

READ: EU blasts Israeli plan to evict Palestinian families in occupied West Bank

"Our house was demolished because of a political decision, not a legal one."

"They do not issue permits for us. They adopt ethnic cleansing and displacement policies. Why did Israel cancel the demolition order for a Palestinian house after its ownership was moved to a settler family?"

Demolitions of Arab-owned buildings in Silwan and other parts of occupied East Jerusalem are common, as Arabs in the city face difficulties in obtaining building permits from the occupation's municipality.

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