Israeli forces demolished three floors of a residential Palestinian building, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Abu Dis neighborhood, overnight Sunday, claiming that the owners lacked building permission.Witnesses told Ma’an News Agency that five Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by Israeli forces, surrounded a five-story building in Abu Dis, post midnight, and began demolitions at around 1:40 a.m.
Muatasim Adilah, owner and lecturer at Al-Quds University, said that he and his family were ordered to leave the building without being allowed to remove any belongings.
All roads leading to the building were closed prior to the operation; neighbors and local residents were not allowed near the area.
Three of the five floors were destroyed, while the two remaining floors were left uninhabitable.
According to the Ma’an report, Mr. Adilah stated that the first two floors were built in 1959 while affirming that an additional three floors were constructed several years ago after obtaining a license from the Palestinian Authority.
Subsequently, Israel’s Jerusalem municipality issued a demolition warrant for the additional three floors on April 30th of 2013, after claiming that the building is located within the municipality’s boundaries.
Adilah’s attempt to obtain a construction license from the municipality was rejected.
Clashes broke out following the four-hour demolition, and Israeli forces shot three youths with live fire, said witnesses.
In related news, the Palestinian News Network reports that Israeli authorities distributed, on Monday, demolition notices to a number of houses in the village of Wadi Al-Nes, in south Bethlehem.
Wadi Al-Nes is a village neighbouring the apartheid wall. Israel has been targeting this village for a very long time, now, by preventing inhabitants from using the historical road which connects it to Bethlehem city, following the construction of the illegal Efrat settlement.
Israel destroyed more than 500 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the year 2013 alone, displacing over 850 people, according to United Nations calculations.