Israeli excavators demolish a Palestinian building in Issawiya, East Jerusalem on 15 August 2019 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli bulldozers demolished on Wednesday morning three Palestinian structures near Abu Dis town, southeast of Jerusalem, according to a local activist.
Head of the Land Defense in the Sawahra, Younes Ja‘far, was quoted by WAFA news agency as stating that Israeli forces escorted a bulldozer to the road linking the As-Sawahira Ash-Sharqiya town to Nabi Mousa archeological site, near Abu Dis, where the heavy machinery tore down a 30-square-meter residential structure belonging to Shaker al-Sarkhi.
He added that the soldiers also tore down another residential structure belonging to Ismael Hathalin near Tahada 2 School in al-Mintar area in the As-Sawahira wilderness.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Hijazi, a nonviolent activist, confirmed that the soldiers also demolished a residential structure belonging to Omar Suleiman in Wadi Abu Hindi, a Bedouin encampment located in the valley squeezed between the Israeli colonial settlements of Maale Adumim and Qedar, east of Abu Dis town.
Ja‘far pointed that all Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem wilderness are permanently threatened with eviction and demolition, which will stifle Palestinian population growth, to make room for the construction of colonial settlements.
The community is only accessible through a bumpy dirt road. The population suffers from the poor quality of the road, mainly in winter, as the rain prevents the free movement of the residents.
Israel demolishes Palestinian houses and structures almost on a daily basis as a means to achieve “demographic control” of the occupied territories.
Israel denies planning permits for Palestinians to build on their own land or to extend existing houses to accommodate natural growth, particularly in Jerusalem and Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and falls under full Israeli military rule, forcing residents to build without obtaining rarely-granted permits to provide shelters for their families.
In contrast, Israel argues that building within existing colonial settlements is necessary to accommodate the “natural growth” of settlers. Therefore, it much more easily gives over 700,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.