Israel demolishes Palestinian residential building in occupied Jerusalem
According to Palestinian Authority’s news agency Wafa, Israeli police allowed three bulldozers into al-Sal‘a area in the neighbourhood and cordoned off a 4-storey building under construction before demolishing it.
The demolition sparked confrontations from angry Palestinian residents who tried to peacefully stop it from taking place only to be shot by Israeli police.
No injuries were reported.
The building’s owner was identified as Aziz Ja‘abis.
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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 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.