World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli bulldozers early on Wednesday demolished a two-story building owned by a Palestinian man in the Al-Tour neighborhood east of the Old City of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem).
The building's owner, Ghadeer Abu Ghaliyeh, said that a large Israeli force had surrounded the building in the early hours of the morning before bulldozers proceeded to raze it.
"The bulldozers demolished the building – which houses a mosque, a health center and two apartments sheltering 11 people – without any prior warning," Abu Ghaliyeh told Anadolu Agency.
"The building was built three years ago on an area of 700 square meters," he said.
"I have spent 18 years trying to get a building permit, but the Israeli authorities have consistently denied it," he added.
Abu Ghaliyeh said it was the second time Israel's Jerusalem municipality had demolished his home.
"The first time was in January 2007," he recalled.
Jerusalem's municipal authority imposes tight restrictions on the building and renovation of Palestinian homes in Al-Quds.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israeli authorities demolished more than 500 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Al-Quds last year alone.
Sacred to both Muslims and Jews, Al-Quds is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" the holy city with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity.Last Mod: 26 Mart 2014, 13:13