Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Meanwhile in Palestine

Israeli forces have demolished two homes in different Palestinian neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, residents have told Al Jazeera.

The Israeli army arrived at Thaer Siyam's newly-built house in Beit Hanina at 5am and razed it to the ground with a bulldozer.


"This is the fourth house in my family to be demolished," Siyam said. "My own house was destroyed last October. Houses belonging to my daughter and my other son have also been demolished in the recent past."

Siyam said that neither he nor Thaer received a demolition order from the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality.

"We weren't given a chance to submit the paperwork or find a lawyer to appeal the demolition order," Siyam said.


More than 70 percent of East Jerusalem's 324,000 Palestinian residents live under the poverty line. They hold permanent residency status in Israel and are required to pay taxes to the Israeli government, but are not considered citizens.


According to Ir Amim, an Israeli left-wing non-profit organisation, Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, such as land expropriation and settlement-building, are tailored to prevent the growth of Palestinian communities in order to reach the desired 70:30 demographic ratio between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.


In Jabal al-Mukabbir, located southeast of East Jerusalem, Hamza Shaloudi's house was also razed to the ground.

"Twenty Israeli soldiers and police officers came barging through the front door at 9am with their dogs," Shaloudi told Al Jazeera. "I only managed to stop them from going into my daughter's bedrooms who were still sleeping."

One of his two daughters is eight years old and suffers from partial paralysis.

The army rounded Shaloudi, his wife and two daughters and forced them to sit in their car, he said, adding that soldiers were placed on the rooftops of the neighbouring houses and the street was closed off.

"I asked them to wait until I managed to talk to my lawyer, but they immediately started demolishing the house along with our belongings and furniture still inside," Shaloudi said.

His lawyer managed to obtain an order to stop the demolition, but when he showed the soldiers the copy, there were only two walls left standing, Shaloudi said. After a short while, they knocked them down, he said.


"This is the price Palestinians in Jerusalem pay for staying in the city," he said.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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