Crescent Kashmir

Protests as Israel begins demolition in Jerusalem’s Silwan

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JERUSALEM: Israel demolished a Palestinian shop in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan on Tuesday, triggering scuffles between police and protesters who accused authorities of discriminatory enforcement of building permits in the holy city.

Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in a 1967 war, for a future state. Israel deems all of Jerusalem as its capital — a status not recognised internationally — and has encouraged Jewish settlement of predominantly Palestinian areas.

A bulldozer escorted by Israeli police flattened Harbi Rajabi’s butchers shop in the neighbourhood which is overlooked by Al-Aqsa Mosque. The shop, run by Mahmoud Basit, is one of at least eight properties that residents said were slated for demolition. They say many have been there for decades, even from before 1967.

Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Arieh King said “around 20” buildings in Silwan — which Israel refers to by its Hebrew name Shiloach — had received demolition orders.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2021

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