Israel demolishes Arab houses in East Jerusalem

13:12, July 14, 2010      

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Israeli bulldozers Tuesday demolished what officials said four structures in two Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

City officials said the demolitions of uninhabited structures were carried out as part of a court order, and are in the light of an annual work plan.

One of the buildings was part of a factory, and Palestinians told reporters that others were intended as homes.

"They can build hundreds of settlements, but I'm not entitled to live in a shack?" one of the building's resident told the local Ha'aretz website.

City authorities said in a statement sent to Xinhua that it would "equally enforce" laws regarding construction approval in the western and eastern parts of the city.

The United States and international community has called on Israel not to raze Palestinian construction in Jerusalem.

The events come one day after a municipal planning committee approved 32 housing units in a nearby Jewish neighborhood.

The city council, however, also approved 22 new housing units for the nearby Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina, the site of one of the demolitions. As well, 18 units were also okayed for the Arab neighborhoods of Beit Safafa, Sur Baher and Issawi'ya, the site of the three other demolitions, Jerusalem city spokesman Stephan Miller told Xinhua.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Israel, however, considers the entire city its capital since the 1967 war, and Israeli officials have said they plan to continue construction in all parts of Jerusalem.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

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