Clashes erupt in East Jerusalem as Israel razes Palestinian homes

EU Representative in Palestine, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff (left below), and accompanying delegation visit the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem (Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  December 29, 2021

The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem on Wednesday (29 December) demolished two Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem under the pretext of construction without a permit, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The demolitions took place in two neighbourhoods, Silwan and Jabal al-Mukaber.

According to the Palestinian WAFA News Agency, Israeli police sealed off the vicinity of a building in the neighbourhood of Jabal al-Mukaber owned by a local resident before the municipality bulldozer proceeded to demolish it.

Some residents clashed with the Israeli forces who fired teargas and rubber bullets at the protesters, causing suffocation, said WAFA.

Tahseen Ibrahim Bashir, whose house was destroyed in Jabal al-Mukaber, told Anadolu Agency Video News (AAVN) that, although he applied many times, the Israeli authorities refused to issue a construction permit.

Bashir said his demolished house was built five years ago for his son who will marry soon.

“Where will our children live? They don’t give a license. So where are we going to live?” asked Bashir. More than 700,000 Palestinians were driven out or expelled from their homes by Jewish militias in 1948 when Israel was declared as an independent state. Thousands of Palestinians were further displaced in the 1967 June War when Israel captured East Jerusalem.

The Israeli army demolished 950 Palestinian homes and facilities, and established 15 outposts, in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during 2021, announced on Wednesday (29 December) by Jamal al-Amla, Director of the non-governmental Land Research Centre, which specializes in documenting violations of the occupation in the Occupied Territories.

Israel has been criticized and warned many times by international organizations and institutions for unjustly demolishing Palestinian homes.