Family from Israel’s Arab region forced to live in a cave after authorities demolish their home ‘for building without a permit’
- Khaled al-Zeer al-Husaini and his five children live in a cave and shack
- Three days ago Israeli authorities pulled down his East Jerusalem home
- They demolished it because they said it was built without a permit
- Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem now total around 200,000 people
- Peace talks between Israel and Palestine halted this week due to violence
A family from Jerusalem’s Arab region have been forced to live in a cave after Israeli authorities demolished their home claiming it had been built without a permit.
Khaled al-Zeer al-Husaini, 39, lives with his five children in a wooden shack built around the entrance of a cave which was once used as an animals’ stable.
Three days ago, Israeli authorities pulled down his East Jerusalem family home, under the pretext of planning laws, forcing the father to seek shelter in the Silwan-based cave.
Displaced: Father Khaled al-Zeer al-Husaini, 39, and his five children have been forced to live in a cave in Silwan, East Jerusalem after Israeli forces demolished his home
The holy city of Jerusalem has been divided between the Israeli and Palestinian territories for many decades, but Israeli settlements have gradually been sprawling further east occupying areas over the border-line.
According to the Foundation for Middle East Peace, nearly 7,000 Israeli settlers moved into east Jerusalem in 2010 and the number is steadily rising. Arab East Jerusalem is now home to almost 200,000 Israelis – up from 175,000 in 2002.
Tensions have been rising these last few days between Israel and its neighbour, and violence has halted planned peace talks.
This week Palestinian officials called off a planned round of peace talks after Israeli soldiers killed three protesters during clashes following an arrest raid in the West Bank.
The violence, the deadliest incident in the area in years, dealt a new blow to U.S.-led peace efforts, which resumed late last month after a nearly five-year break.
Palestinian officials have accused the Israelis of stonewalling and using the process as a cover to build new Jewish settlements. The deaths of Palestinians further soured the atmosphere.
It was not known when talks will resume, but Palestinian officials said the break was expected to be brief. They spoke anonymously as they were not authorized to talk to media.
Monday’s clashes broke out when Israeli forces entered the Qalandia refugee camp, just outside of Jerusalem, on an overnight arrest raid.
Shai Hakimi, a spokesman for the paramilitary border police, said hundreds of Palestinians poured into the streets and hurled firebombs, concrete blocks and rocks at officers.
The Israeli military said soldiers rushed to the scene to provide backup and opened fire after they felt their lives were in “imminent danger.”
The Palestinians want discussions to focus on security issues and the border between Israel and a future state of Palestine.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Rome on Sept. 8 to help push negotiations forward, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials.