Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:26AM
The photo shows a member of the Israeli security forces guarding the area as an Israeli army bulldozer pulls down the Palestinian homes. (Photos by AFP)
The photo shows a member of the Israeli security forces guarding the area as an Israeli army bulldozer pulls down the Palestinian homes. (Photos by AFP)

Israel has issued an order to demolish a mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds claiming that the building has not obtained construction permit.

The order for demolition of Abdullah l-Sanawi Mosque in Silwan neighborhood was issued on Thursday.

According to Fakhri Abu Diab, a member of the Committee for the Defense of Silwan, the mosque was built several years ago on Waqf land using donations from the people to serve 4,000 residents of the area.

Abdullah Al-Sanawi Mosque is among six Palestinian mosques threatened with demolition in the area, he added.

In late December, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced that Israel’s demolition campaign against Palestinian homes and structures across the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds had reached the most unprecedented level in the past seven years.

Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures have raised alarm among diplomats and human rights groups over what they regard as the Tel Aviv regime’s continued violation of international law.

Palestinian children cry following the demolition of their houses in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran on January 18, 2017.

On April 5, the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, approved a controversial law targeting what are said to be illegal constructions amid criticisms that the legislation will disproportionately affect Palestinians and Arab communities.

The legislation increases the maximum imprisonment for those convicted of building without permits to three years from the current two-year term.

The legislation, which further hikes fines and reduces the powers of courts to postpone the date of demolition orders, will also target 300,000 Palestinians living in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Tel Aviv has accelerated its land grab and settlement construction activities in the occupied Palestinian lands after pro-Israel US President Donald Trump took office earlier this year. Human rights groups say Israel’s sustained demolitions of Palestinian homes are aimed at uprooting Palestinians from their native territories and expropriating more land for the expansion of settlements.

Israeli forces have demolished over 48,000 Palestinian homes and buildings since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian lands, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.