JERUSALEM, Tuesday, June 11, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli bulldozers Tuesday morning demolished a building under construction in the village of Sur Baher, to the south of the occupied city of Jerusalem.
Witnesses told WAFA that Israeli police stormed and cordoned off Sur Baher as bulldozers proceeded to tear down a two-storey building purportedly for lacking a rarely-issued Israeli construction permit.
The owner was identified as Wesam Jabour.
The demolition was carried out just two days after so-called Israeli municipality staff ordered Jabour to halt the refurbishment of his house.
Meanwhile, Hassan Abu Kaff was forced Monday evening to demolish his own house in the same village upon order from the Israeli municipality.
Abu Kaff was given two choices: destroy his own house himself or wait for the municipality to destroy it and pay exorbitant demolition fees.
Abu Kaff pointed out that he was forced to demolish his own house, built nine years ago, where he used to live along with his family composed of seven members.
He noted that he had applied for an Israeli license, but the municipality was procrastinating on approving his application.
Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.
At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city.
Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been subject to Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied their citizenship rights and are instead classified only as "residents" whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.
They are also discriminated against in all aspects of life including housing, employment and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel‘s separation wall.