Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

Israeli Occupation Forces Partially Demolish Palestinian Home Near Jerusalem’s Old City

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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers demolished part of a home belonging to the Amr family in the Wadi al-Juz neighborhood east of Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday.Family members told Ma’an that the demolition came after dozens of Israeli vehicles escorted bulldozers into the area, near the bridge connecting Wadi al-Juz to neighboring al-Suwwana.Dr. Jamal Amr said that Israeli forces raided the family home with the support of a helicopter and held family members in a small room, which they were not allowed to leave.

Amr said that two younger family members were beaten by Israeli soldiers.

Israeli bulldozers proceeded to demolish part of Sharif and Nour al-Din Amr’s home, including a room, balcony, storehouse and toilets, amounting to 80 square meters of the house.

They also raised the surrounding walls and destroyed a number of trees.

Dr. Amr said that the structures were built before Israel annexed Jerusalem and there was no reason or excuse for their demolition.

He said it was a message from Israel, while Palestinians commemorate Land Day, that Israeli authorities will continue to take over Palestinian lands by all means at their disposal.

He added that the land on which the house is built “only a few meters away from the Al-Aqsa mosque” and is therefore of “strategic” importance to the Israeli authorities.

Amr said that the demolished room had mostly been used by bus drivers heading to mosque as a place to perform partial ablution before prayers.

Israeli bulldozers also demolished a steel structure in the area belonging to the Tutah family which had been used to barn horses.

East Jerusalem was seized by Israel along with the West Bank in 1967 during the Six-Day War, and since then, the Israeli government has undertaken a policy of “Judaization” across the city, constructing Jewish settlements and demolishing Palestinian homes.

There are now believed to be more than 300,000 Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem.

The international community views East Jerusalem as part of the Palestinian territories and recognizes the annexation and settlement programs as illegal under international law.

The Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is the third holiest site in Islam, has been a political flashpoint in the past.

Since mid-2014 Israeli authorities have regularly imposed restrictions on Palestinian worshipers entering the compound, and on several occasions entirely closed the compound, feeding growing tension in East Jerusalem.

Monday marked the 39th anniversary of Land Day, which commemorates Palestinian protests against Israeli land seizures that were violently suppressed on Mar. 30, 1976.

Thousands took to the streets across the Palestinian Territories in remembrance of the six Palestinians that were killed that day.

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, whose population has risen from approximately 150,000 in 1976 to some 1.3 million today, still mark Land Day to demonstrate their continued will to hold onto their land and homes against Israeli incursions.

In recent years, Israel has deployed large numbers of soldiers in the days leading up to Land Day, and Israeli forces have regularly fired on protesters commemorating the day.


Author: OccPalGaza

Blogging from Gaza-current events, news and actions against the Occupation.

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