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Israeli forces demolish family home in East Jerusalem

Israeli forces demolish family home in East Jerusalem
From Al Jazeera - November 22, 2017

It took several months and tens of thousands of dollars to build.

But on Wednesday, Jamal Abu Khdeir's dream of housing his 27-member family under the same roof came crashing down in just a few minutes.

More than 40 Israeli officers and two bulldozers arrived shortly after dawn to demolish Abu Khdeir's brand new home in the neighbourhood of Shufat in occupied East Jerusalem, witnesses said.

As soon as the destruction started, scuffles broke out. A 73-year-old cousin of Abu Khdeir said he tried to intervene to break up the clashes, but ended up being assaulted by Israeli forces.

"When the Israeli occupation forces were demolishing the home, the boys and men of the family started shouting at them,"Ishaaq Saeed Abu Khdeir, the 73-year-old, told Al Jazeera.

"The Israeli forces started beating them and it turned into a physical fight. I went to break them up so that the boys do not get hurt," he added.

'Blood, sweat and tears'

The family said they received no prior warning about the demolition, which it occurred due to the fact that the house had been built without a permit.

Under Israeli law, Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are required to have a building permit from the government to erect new homes. But Israel has consistently rejected the majority of permit requests.

According to areporton the Israeli daily Haaretz, between 2010 and 2015, of the 11,603 building permits issued, only 878 were allocated for Palestinian neighbourhoods.

Speaking to Al Jazeera,Jamal, the owner, spoke about the heartbreak of seeing the house, which reportedlycost the family $85,000, torn to the ground.

"It is beyond my ability to explain what it feels like to watch your own house be demolished before your eyes - your own blood, sweat and tears," the 67-year-old told Al Jazeera.

He said the building they live in now is not big enough to accommodate his family.

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