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Israel to demolish al-Quds residential building displacing 55 Palestinians

A Palestinian boy watches as Israeli machinery demolish a house located within the area C near the Palestinian village of Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of al-Khalil (Hebron), November 2, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The Israeli authorities have delivered a demolition order against a multi-story Palestinian building in a neighborhood of the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds that would displace several families.

Israeli intelligence officers informed the Palestinian owners of a four-story residential building of the imminent intention to tear down the complex in the Shu'fat area of East Jerusalem al-Quds, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported on Thursday.

The building, which is located just 200 meters from the encroaching Israeli settlement of Ramat Shlomo, houses over 10 Palestinian families comprising some 55 people.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Israeli forces had either demolished or seized two dozen Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem al-Quds in a span of two weeks.

In its bi-weekly report on Israeli violations on Friday, the OCHA said the demolitions were carried out between March 15 and March 28 this year under the pretext that they lacked the necessary construction permits.

Throughout the years, Israel has frequently demolished Palestinian homes, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

The Tel Aviv regime even orders the Palestinian owners to tear down their own homes or pay the demolition costs to the municipality.

At the same time, Israel has expanded its illegal settlements for Israelis in occupied Palestinian territories, which are all illegal under international law.

The demolitions and evictions carried out by Israeli authorities are seen as part of their efforts to forcibly displace Palestinians and change the demographic character of the occupied territories.

Graveyard in West Bank to be demolished 

A media report said Thursday that Israeli authorities are planning to destroy a cemetery south of the West Bank city of al-Khalil, also known as Hebron. 

They delivered a notification to demolish the graveyard in al-Deirat village a week after ordering a halt to any construction work at the site.

The Alliance for Human Rights and a group of activists, who document rights abuses in Palestine, confirmed that the demolition order against the cemetery was final.

It said Israeli forces also confiscated two excavators that were working on an agricultural land in the nearby al-Rifa'iyya village. 

In recent years, Israel has destroyed several ancient cemeteries across the occupied lands and built commercial centers on the sites. Palestinian residents have condemned the practice as an attack against their historical identity. 

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. 

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions. 

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

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