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Israel demolishes Palestinian-owned building in al-Quds, displacing 16 people

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The combo shows a building in Isawiyyeh neighborhood in East al-Quds before and after demolition by Israel, December 27, 2021. (Photo by Wafa)

Israel has demolished a three-story Palestinian-owned building in East al-Quds, displacing 16 people.

Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported that an Israeli bulldozer on Monday flattened the building in the Isawiyyeh neighborhood, whose owner is a Palestinian by the name of Yasin Mustafa.

The report added that the staff of the Israeli municipality, under tight protection by police, first cordoned off the area around the building and then called in bulldozers for the demolition. And the pretext was not new: the building had been built ‘without a license.’

Locals clashed with the police during the demolition. No injuries were reported.

Israel routinely demolishes Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, claiming that the structures have been built without the so-called permits, which are almost impossible to obtain. They also sometimes order Palestinian owners to demolish their own houses or pay the costs of the operation if they do not.

Israel razes several Palestinian commercial facilities in West Bank

Separately, Israeli authorities, at dawn on Monday, also demolished several Palestinian commercial facilities in Hizma town, northeast of al-Quds, the Palestinian Information Center reported, adding that the demolition was carried out with no prior notice from the Israeli municipality.

According to Musallam Abu Helu, the town’s former mayor, Israeli bulldozers, under the protection of police, stormed Hizma through its southwestern entrance and embarked on razing 10 commercial facilities on the pretext of ‘unlicensed’ construction. The Palestinian-owned buildings included a gas station, stores for selling car accessories, and auto repair shops, the report further said. “These stores were the main source of livelihood for Hizma residents who live under virtual siege and cannot enter for work in the 1948 occupied territory,” Abu Helu added.

The report also said more than a month ago, 16 stores in Hizma had been demolished by Israeli authorities.

Palestinians and rights groups say the demolition moves are aimed at seizing more Palestinian land to expand Israeli settlements.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds. All the settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in several resolutions.

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