Israel destroys another Palestinian home, leaves family homeless
Published Monday, January 30, 2012
Israeli forces on Monday demolished a Palestinian home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, according to residents.
The house was knocked down in the early hours of the morning when bulldozers moved in, leaving the family of six homeless, the Samaras family, neighbors who had been living in the building.
Israeli police said they were checking on the report.
Israel regularly demolishes Palestinian homes, saying the buildings are constructed without the required permits.
But Palestinians say it is almost impossible for them to get building permits.
Rights groups and international organizations including the UN have called on Israel to end such demolitions, saying they cause "extensive human suffering."
Last week Israeli forces demolished four homes, along with structures for housing animals near Jerusalem.
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) said Israeli forces demolished Beit Arabiya, a home belonging to a Bedouin family, which also serves as a "peace center."
The building has been demolished five times since its construction in 1994.
ICAHD said its co-director Itay Epshtain was "beaten and sustained minor injuries" during the demolitions.
The demolitions, which left 20 people displaced, took place in the Anata Hills, near Jerusalem, in an area of the West Bank that is under full Israeli civil and military control, where residents must obtain Israeli construction permits before building homes.
Last year, a coalition of international rights groups and aid organizations said Israel's demolition of homes in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem had displaced more than 1,000 people in 2011, twice that of the previous year and the highest number since 2005.
Israel has sped up its construction of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in defiance of international law, while continuing to demolish Palestinian homes.
Activists and some Palestinian politicians say Israel is attempting to Judaize Arab neighborhoods, and cleanse areas of indigenous Palestinians to establish Jewish "facts on the ground."