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Israeli authorities demolish Palestinian home in Silwan

04:00 Jan 20 2016 Silwan

Israeli authorities demolish Palestinian home in Silwan
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JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Wednesday demolished a home under construction belonging to a Palestinian in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

The building's owner, Samir Nassar, told Ma'an that Jerusalem municipality bulldozers stormed Silwan's Wadi Qaddum area at 4 a.m. under the escort of Israeli police and tore down the home "without prior notice."

He said the home was demolished as it had been built without the necessary construction permits.

Nassar said he began constructing the 300-square-meter home three months ago.

Building permits are expensive and difficult to obtain for Palestinians, particularly in the Jerusalem area, where the Israeli authorities have sought to increase the Jewish population in the city's occupied east.

Silwan in particular has seen in recent years an influx of Israeli settlers at the cost of home demolitions and the eviction of Palestinian families.

Last year, the Palestine Liberation Organization's Negotiations Affairs Department condemned what it termed Israel's "systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians" in Silwan.

The department said that Israeli policies "in Silwan aim not only to alter the historic character of the area and to consolidate Israeli control over the Old City of Jerusalem ... but also contribute to the systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem."

Some 579 homes have been destroyed in the city over the last twelve years, leaving 2,133 Palestinians homeless in total, according to Israeli rights group B'Tselem.
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