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Israel demolishes a banqueting hall in East Jerusalem

Israeli occupation forces demolish an events hall in Issawiya, in the occupied East Jerusalem, on 16 August 2022 claiming it was built with the necessary building permit [Eyad Tawil/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli occupation forces demolish an events hall in Issawiya, in the occupied East Jerusalem, on 16 August 2022 claiming it was built with the necessary building permit [Eyad Tawil/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli occupation authorities demolished an events hall in the town of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem this morning, citing unauthorised construction.

Fadia Muhaisen, the owner of Al-Salam Hall told Anadolu Agency: "We were surprised in the morning by the arrival of large forces from the police, Israeli municipality crews and bulldozers."

Muhaisen indicated that the hall was built eight years ago, with an area of 1,200 square metres.

It added that the demolition was carried out "because of the unauthorised construction."

"In 2015, the Israeli authorities burned down the hall, and we renovated it again at a high cost," Muheisen said.

Muhaisin stated that "five families used to earn a living from working in the hall, and now these families are without a source of income."

"The hall was the only outlet for the people of Issawiya, where weddings, funerals, summer camps and meetings are held."

"Israel does not want anything to remain for the local population in order to restrict them."

There was no comment from the Israeli municipality about the demolition.

READ: EU protests Israel's decision to demolish Ein Samiya Bedouin school 

Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organisations say that Israel is deliberately restricting Palestinian construction in East Jerusalem. In return, it is lenient in granting building permits to illegal Israeli settlements on its lands.

In recent years, the Israeli authorities have escalated demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report that since the start of the year and until the beginning of August, Israeli authorities demolished 176 buildings in East Jerusalem citing lack of the necessary building permits.

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