Israel to demolish hundreds of Palestinian apartments in Jerusalem
Israel is planning on destroying more than 100 apartments and five buildings in occupied East Jerusalem, according to a report released over the weekend.
The five buildings set to be destroyed hold a total of 138 apartments in the Kafr Aqab town. Twenty of the apartments are occupied, with the rest being owned by Palestinian families, according to a Haaretz report.
Upon finding out about the demolition order, Palestinian residents of Kafr Aqab filed an appeal to Israel's district court in Jerusalem.
The district court rejected the appeal, and ordered Israeli authorities to demolish the buildings straight away as they were considered as being built illegally.
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Four out of five of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, and applying for building permits comes with various taxes and fees amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.
As a result, only seven percent of Jerusalem building permits have been allocated to Palestinian neighbourhoods in the past few years.
Applications for building permits are also known to take years to be processed, giving Israeli courts a loophole to increase Palestinian home demolitions by branding structures as "illegal".
Jerusalem has been a target of Israeli settlements and home demolitions amid a wider plan to annex the Palestinian part of the city.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday postponed a vote on a controversial bill that critics say would amount to the annexation of Israeli settlements surrounding Jerusalem.