By Abdel Raouf Arnaout
Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a two-apartment home belonging to Amin Aqil, a Palestinian resident of the town of Jabal al-Mukaber in East Jerusalem.
According to Ashraf Idris, a relative of Aqil, the ill-fated home had only recently been built.
"Aqil’s sons were preparing to get married there," Idris told Anadolu Agency.
The home, he added, had been razed without prior warning from the Israeli authorities, who claimed the structure had been built “without authorization”.
"We tried several times in recent months to obtain a [construction] license through the Israeli courts, but our efforts were in vain," Idris said.
Palestinians, along with several international rights groups, say the Jerusalem Municipality has deliberately hindered construction by Palestinians since Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967.
Rights groups also point out that Israeli settlers, by contrast, encounter little difficulty obtaining permits to build Jewish-only housing units on confiscated Palestinian land in East Jerusalem.
Palestinians hope East Jerusalem might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.