Israel bulldozes Palestinian homes, mosque
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Israeli occupation forces razed on Wednesday an East Jerusalem building that consisted of a medical center, a mosque and two apartments housing 11 people, local media reported.
The destruction of building was the latest in a series of almost daily demolitions carried out by Israel under the pretext of building without a permit.
But activists see the demolitions as part of a strategic effort by the occupation authorities to evict Palestinians from their homes to clear the land for the rapidly expanding Jewish settlements, considered illegal under international law.
Witnesses cited by Palestinian news agency Ma'an said occupation forces stormed the building, located in occupied East Jerusalem's al-Tur neighborhood, early Wednesday morning and forced everyone out before bulldozers got to work.
Ghadir Abu Ghaliya, the building's owner, told Ma'an that he had struggled to obtain a construction permit for 18 years, but that his applications were repeatedly rejected by Israel's occupation authorities despite having permission from Jerusalem's mayor.
The family was caught by surprise after Israeli forces stormed their building since they showed up with their bulldozers with no prior notice, Abu Ghaliya added.
The ground floor of the building housed a mosque and medical center. The two apartments were located on the next floor.
Palestinian Authority-run news agency Wafa cited local religious officials denouncing the demolition of the mosque as a violation of international law.