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cops at house demolition, east JTown.(Photo by: AP)
5 illegal structures razed in J'lem area
ABE SELIG
11/18/2009
5 illegal structures des
Flanked by police and border police, Jerusalem municipality workers on Wednesday demolished five illegal structures in the east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Issawiya and Silwan, bringing the total number of demolitions carried out in the last two days to seven. Two of Wednesday's demolitions took place in Issawiya, where according to police, residents blocked off access with rocks and dumpsters to prevent work crews from arriving at the site. Nonetheless, police said, bulldozers carried out the demolition orders. According to Issawiya residents, municipality workers also delivered demolition orders to 14 additional families in the neighborhood, bringing the total number of homes slated for demolition there to 70. Workers and security forces were pelted with rocks by neighborhood residents during the demolitions, but police said no damage or injuries were caused and no arrests were made. Later on Wednesday, municipal workers and security forces also entered Silwan, where the demolitions of three additional homes were carried out. Police said that local residents threw rocks at the work crew and security forces there as well, but no damage or injuries were reported. On Tuesday, a home in Beit Hanina was demolished by municipality workers, along with an additional home in Silwan. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday evening, Fakhri Abu-Diab, the head of Silwan's neighborhood council, said the demolitions only served to raise tensions in the area, and that they were carried out under the pretext of a "political agenda" to rid east Jerusalem of its Arab residents. "The government wants to throw us out of here," Abu-Diab said. "On one hand, they don't give us permits to build, and then they come in and demolish the homes once we've built them. "Where are these people supposed to go?" he added. "How can you throw people out into the cold?" According to the Jerusalem Municipality, all of the structures slated for demolition were built without the necessary permits and at least one of them was built on land designated for a future road.
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