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Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Israel razes Palestinian building

Palestinian family stand in the ruins of their home
Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem has not been recognised internationally

Israeli authorities have bulldozed a Palestinian-owned building in occupied East Jerusalem reported to have been home to two Palestinian families.

The demolition came a day after the US said it objected to Palestinian homes being destroyed in the area.

Israel says demolition orders are issued for buildings that do not have a valid construction permit. Palestinians say these are impossible to obtain.

UN officials have warned that such demolitions violate international law.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 war and annexed it soon afterwards in a move that has not been recognised internationally. The government disputes that East Jerusalem is occupied territory.

Palestinian reports said there were also two commercial premises in the building that was bulldozed.

The Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, says the Israeli authorities have demolished more than 400 Palestinian-owned homes in East Jerusalem since 2004, citing a lack of building permits.

"Israel says that it is uniting Jerusalem. In reality, it is dividing Jerusalem through a series of discriminatory policies and laws," said chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat.



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