Israeli occupation forces have demolished the home of a Palestinian family for the fourth time, claiming that it does not have a building permit.
The demolition of the two-story house took place in Issawiya, East Jerusalem, on Monday, 2 March.
One family member is Hatem Hussein Abu Rayaleh, who was paralysed during the third demolition of his home in 2009, when he fell and broke his spine. The first took place ten years earlier, in 1999.
Witnesses have said that several Israeli military vehicles took part in the destruction, along with bulldozers. The area was sealed off by Israeli soldiers.
A resident of Issawiya said to a local news outlet: “This is what [Israelis] want… They build and expand settlements and then expel [Palestinians]. Where should we go? Where [should] our kids…go? They want to take all the lands and seize it.”
While Israeli settlements in Palestine are ever-expanding, building permits are near impossible to obtain for Palestinians living in the occupied territories.
Human rights activists have reported that demolitions of Palestinian homes are now happening more frequently than at any time over the past four years. Hundreds of Palestinian families have been left homeless as a result.
In November, the UN slammed Israeli after 73 people, including 41 children, had their dwellings destroyed by Israeli forces in the Bedouin settlement of Khirbet Humsa, in the Jordan Valley. Some 76 structures, including homes, toilets, solar panels and animal shelters, were destroyed in what the UN called a “grave breach” of international law. It was said to be the worst incident of such destruction in ten years.
In that case, Israel tried to claim that the homes had been built illegally on a firing range.
The number of homes destroyed by Israeli forces has not seen such a high level since 2016. Then, some 1,496 Palestinians had their homes demolished.
The demolitions are widely seen as in breach of international law, and the United Nations has repeatedly called on Israel to end its policy.
Meanwhile, Israel continues to spread out into broader Palestinian territory, creating and enforcing settlements on Palestinian land again in breach of international laws.