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The New Arab Staff

Israel forces Palestinian man near al-Aqsa to demolish his own home

The demolition occured in Silwan [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 March, 2021

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Israeli police forced stormed Silwan and forced Palestinian resident Nidal Salaymeh to tear down his own home.
The Israeli authorities on Monday forced a Palestinian man to demolish his house in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, according to local reports.

Israeli forces stormed Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood that is south of Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and ordered resident Nidal Salaymeh to tear down his own home, local sources said.

Israeli authorities threatened to destroy Salaymeh's home themselves and charge him extortionate fees if he had refused, as they have done with other Palestinians.

Read also: The Palestine Brief: 50 years after they burned al-Aqsa

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, committing various crimes against Palestinian civilians.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Often, Israel forces Palestinians to demolish their own homes under the pretext of not having a building permit.

Applications for building permits are also known to take years to be processed, giving Israeli courts a loophole to increase Palestinian home demolitions by branding structures as "illegal".

Four out of five of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, and applying for building permits comes with various taxes and fees amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

Between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of all Palestinian building permit applications across the occupied West Bank were approved by Israel, according to the UN.

The cost of a permit for a single home is estimated to be in the region of $30,000.

Israeli rights group B'Tselem has accused Israel of creating "a Kafkaesque reality that leaves Palestinians almost no way to build legally".

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