Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Clashes as Israel flattens homes

Palestinian woman looks at Israeli troops in Silwan
The demolitions caused anger in especially in Silwan neighbourhood

Israel demolished four unauthorised Palestinian-owned buildings in occupied East Jerusalem in one day, triggering clashes in one Arab neighbourhood.

Palestinian youths threw stones at police and a demolition unit in Silwan, where two homes were razed.

A house in Shuafat and a wedding hall in Beit Hanina also were demolished.

Human rights groups have criticised homes demolitions, saying it is often impossible for Palestinians to obtain permits in Israeli-occupied areas.

The Israeli authorities said they were applying the law by removing structures built illegally without permits.

Israeli police said several people were detained in Silwan but there were no injuries.

More than 100 paramilitary border guards, including some on horseback, protected the demolition team using a large digger.

Local people threw rocks from rooftops, while the security forces fired rubber bullets and used stun grenades.

Witnesses said some people had barricaded themselves inside one of the condemned buildings but they agreed to leave after negotiations with police.

Local activists said the Jerusalem municipality had issued demolition orders against 90 homes in Silwan, located in a valley below Jerusalem's Old City, to build a park.

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