Palestinian children stand in shock as Israeli forces turn house into rubble on April 24, 2018, in the West Bank city of Jenin. (AFP Photo)
The Israeli occupation authorities demolished on Tuesday two Palestinian houses in the occupied city of Jerusalem, according to local sources.
Israeli police and municipal staff stormed al-Shayyah area in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur, where a bulldozer tore down the remaining poles and foundations of al-Burqan family’s house, which was self-demolished a month ago.
“This morning, we were surprised to see the Israeli occupation bulldozers proceeding with the demolition of the foundations of our two-storey house, which we were forced to self-demolish last November, to avoid a fine of 400,000 shekels for demolition costs,” said Um Eyad Burqan in a statement quoted by WAFA news agency. “But the occupation returned to demolish its foundations, to force us to pay the costs."
"As if demolishing our house and displacing 20 people, my four sons and their children isn’t enough. The Israeli occupation authorities want to fine us the costs of the demolition, by fabricating false pretexts", she added.
Meanwhile, Israeli bulldozers tore down a house belonging to al-Heleisy family near Jerusalem’s Dung Gate, reducing it to rubble.
Both structures were demolished purportedly for being built without licenses.
Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.
At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city.
Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been subject to Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied their citizenship rights and are instead classified only as "residents" whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.
They are also discriminated against in all aspects of life including housing, employment and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel's separation wall.
According to a report by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Israeli High Court could be liable for war crimes for their policies that led to the dispossession of Palestinians from their properties in Area C of the West Bank.
The report, Fake Justice, shows that the court’s support of Israeli planning policy is tantamount to support for dispossession and forcible transfer of Palestinians, a war crime under international law.