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Israel demolishes two Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem

Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 October, 2017

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Israeli forces have made two Palestinian families homeless after demolishing their East Jerusalem homes claiming they do not have a permit.

Israeli forces demolished two homes in an occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood on Tuesday, displacing nine Palestinians.

Israeli soldiers escorted bulldozers as they surrounded East Jerusalem's Silwan district, closing all entrances and exits to the neighbourhood, according to Palestine based news agency Maan News Agency.

The Israeli forces then forced the residents of the two homes to evacuate them, before they were demolished.

Israel claimed the houses do not have the necessary permits.

The action left nine Palestinian residents without homes.

Two other homes were scheduled to be demolished in Silwan and the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of al-Issawiya but were spared at the last minute, according to the official Wafa News Agency.

Israeli authorities advanced plans for 1,292 settler homes in the occupied West Bank, in a new push by the government to expand illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories, watchdog Peace Now told AFP.

"They are all over the West Bank," spokeswoman Hagit Ofran said, without immediately providing a breakdown of numbers.

She said further approvals were expected to come on Wednesday.

They are part of nearly 4,000 settler home plans set to be advanced in the West Bank, under a push to greatly boost settlement growth, an Israeli official has said.

Earlier this year Palestinian school children were left to study outside in intense heat on Wednesday after Israeli forces demolished their recently built school just hours before the start of the new academic year.

Israeli security forces arrived at the West Bank village of Jub al-Dib late August and destroyed the EU-funded school building, local rights group B'Tselem reported.

"The demolition of a school building the night before the start of the year epitomises the administrative cruelty and systematic harassment by authorities designed to drive Palestinians from their land," B'Tsleme said in a statement.

The Norwegian Refugee Council [NRC] said the destroyed school included the only nursery available to the local Palestinian community.

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