On Wednesday, Israeli forces destroyed a building in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. The building- which belongs to the Tawtah and al-Tawatnji families-is a three-storey one that is still under construction.
In an early morning raid, bulldozers came into the neighborhood - escorted by Israeli soldiers and Border Police.According to locals they had closed the main street then they proceeded to demolish the building claiming that it did not have the necessary permits.
The owners said that they began to work on the three-storey building nine months ago, pointing to the fact that one of its lower apartments was 80 years old.They said it consisted of six apartments, each storey measuring 180 square meters.The two families said that an Israeli court demanded that they pay a 550,000-shekel fine ($142,000) to postpone the demolition.
The court ordered the structure's demolition soon after the owners refused to pay the amount.They added that the Israeli bulldozers shattered the entire building, including the eighty-year-old apartment.
Wadi al-Joz is one out of many Palestinian neighborhoods, in occupied East Jerusalem, where Israeli forces have demolished Palestinian homes and evicted Palestinian families.With the protection of Israeli forces, Jewish residents often take over Palestinian buildings while government policies make it nearly impossible for Palestinian residents to obtain building permits.
According to Israeli rights group B'Tselem, nineteen Palestinian homes have been torn down in occupied East Jerusalem So far this year. As a result thirteen Palestinians were left homeless. The group reports that Nearly 570 homes have been demolished over the last twelve years resulting in a total of 2,128 homeless Palestinians.
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