By Esat Firat
JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli forces demolished two houses owned by Palestinians in East Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Teams razed a building in the Shuafat refugee camp area in the north of East Jerusalem.
The building owned by the Abu Mayala family was destroyed by the Jerusalem Municipality on the pretext that it was built without authorization.
Another house was demolished in East Jerusalem’s Ras Khamis neighborhood, according to Palestine’s Wafa news agency.
A Palestinian teenager protesting against the move was also arrested.
Palestinians, as well as several international rights groups, accuse the Jerusalem Municipality of deliberately hindering construction by Palestinians since Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967.
Rights groups have pointed out that Israeli settlers, in contrast, encounter little difficulty obtaining permits to build Jewish-only housing units on seized Palestinian land in the city.
Israeli forces have demolished over 5,000 homes in East Jerusalem since 1967, according to Palestinian sources.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and, in a move never recognized by the international community, annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s “eternal and undivided” capital.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East dispute, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara