- Title: Israel moves to demolish homes on Jerusalem outskirts, stoking Palestinian fears
- Date: 22nd July 2019
- Summary: SUR BAHER, WEST BANK (JULY 22, 2019) (REUTERS) ARMY FORCES GATHERED NEAR SUR BAHER BUILDING VARIOUS OF ISRAELI CRANE MOVING EQUIPMENT FLARE IN THE SKY VARIOUS OF ISRAELI FORCES GATHERED IN SUR BAHER, PREPARING FOR DEMOLITION
- Embargoed: 5th August 2019 03:56
- Keywords: Israel Palestinians Sur Baher house demolition Jerusalem Israeli army
- Location: SUR BAHER, WEST BANK
- City: SUR BAHER, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA001AOV0OQV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Israeli forces began preparations to demolish homes near a military barrier on the outskirts of Jerusalem under the cover of darkness on Monday (July 22), in the face of Palestinian protests and international criticism.
Bulldozers accompanied by hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police moved in to Sur Baher, a Palestinian village on the edge of East Jerusalem in an area that Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East War.
Palestinians fear that the razing of village buildings near the fence will set a precedent for other towns along the route of the barrier, which runs for hundreds of kilometres around and through the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The pending demolition is the latest round of protracted wrangling over the future of Jerusalem, home to more than 500,000 Israelis and 300,000 Palestinians, and sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Israel's Supreme Court ruled in June that the structures violated a construction ban. The deadline for residents to remove the buildings expired on Friday (July 19).
However, some residents said they would be made homeless. Owners said they had obtained permission to build from the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces cut through the wire fence near the village early on Monday, allowing them easier access to the buildings.
Floodlights lit up a partly constructed multi-storey building as dozens of vehicles brought helmeted police and soldiers into the area.
They were filmed and photographed by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists who had mobilised to try and stop the demolition.
(Production: Sinan Abu Mizar, Lee Marzel, Roberto Esparza)
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