Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian home and a commercial building, on Wednesday, in the Jabal Al-Mukabbir neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.
A Ma’an reporter said that dozens of Israeli forces, along with staff from the Israeli Civil Administration and several bulldozers, stormed the neighborhood and blocked a number of streets.
According to local sources, prior to the demolition, Israeli forces raided a residential building belonging to Mahran al-Mughrabi, and forced him, along with his wife and two children, out of their home. Sources added that Israeli bulldozers demolished the home under the pretext that it was built without a permit.
Al-Mughrabi pointed out that the demolished home measured 200-square-meters and was built nearly two years ago.
Meanwhile, local sources said that Israeli forces surrounded a commercial building, in the same neighborhood, and removed its contents, including computers, desks, and chairs, before the demolition commenced.
The commercial building, which measured 50-square-meters, was also demolished under the pretext that it was built without an Israeli permit.
Sources mentioned that the owner had previously attempted to obtain an Israeli permit three months ago, while building, and that he had received no prior demolition notice from Israeli authorities. Israel uses the pretext of building without a permit to carry out demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes on a regular basis.
Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem, though the Jerusalem municipality has claimed that, compared to the Jewish population, which sees high approval ratings, they receive a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities.
In related news, Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian-owned structure on Tuesday, in Suba village, west of the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
Local sources said that the demolished structure was part of a larger caravan which was donated, by an international organization, to Palestinian resident Nabil al-Hayla.
Sources added that Israeli forces had previously demolished al-Haylaâ€™s home, several years ago.
No reason was given for the demolition.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory issued a report that the month of July recorded the highest number of Palestinian structures Israel has demolished or seized (54), and of Palestinian civilians displaced (97) in the occupied territories, since January 2017.
The report said that the cumulative number of structures targeted so far, in 2018, (251) has remained below the figure in the equivalent period of 2017 (286). All of the demolitions carried out during July 2018 took place under the pretext of lack of building permits.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.