aspacpalestine.com – Al-Quds. Israeli forces have demolished two homes in different Palestinian neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, residents have told Al Jazeera.
The Israeli army arrived at Thaer Siyam’s newly-built house in Beit Hanina at 5am and razed it to the ground with a bulldozer.
Ismaeel Siyam, Thaer’s father, told Al Jazeera that he had built the house from wood so that the “Israeli occupation would not demolish it”.
The 40-sq metre house was uninhabited and sparsely furnished, and intended for Thaer to move in before he got married, Siyam said.
A garden built around the house was also uprooted, he added.
“This is the fourth house in my family to be demolished,” Siyam said. “My own house was destroyed last October. Houses belonging to my daughter and my other son have also been demolished in the recent past.”
According to the Israeli rights group, B’tselem, 39 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, displacing at least 140 Palestinians.
Last year, a record 85 homes were demolished since documentation began in 2004. At least 331 people were left homeless as a result.
In contrast, Israel has approved the building of 1,500 settlement units this year in occupied East Jerusalem.
The demolitions happened on the same day that Human Rights Watch released a report about Palestinians living in Jerusalem being stripped of their residency status due to the “two-tiered system” that favours Jews over Palestinians.
The report said that since 1967, 14,595 Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem have had their residence status revoked, causing displacement within the occupied territories and forced deportations when displacement takes place outside the country.