Nearly 40 structures have been razed in occupied East Jerusalem this year, displacing about 100 people, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs.

The Palestinian Red Cross said five Palestinians, including a journalist, were beaten by police at the site of the demolition, adding one was hospitalised.
The Palestinian Red Cross said five Palestinians, including a journalist, were beaten by police at the site of the demolition, adding one was hospitalised. (AFP)

Israeli authorities have demolished a residential building in occupied East Jerusalem, leaving 35 people, the majority of them children, homeless.

The demolition of the three-storey building in the neighbourhood of Silwan was carried out because the owners lacked the required permits, the authorities said on Tuesday.

Israel regularly razes homes built by Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank if they lack the relevant construction permits.

The catch, according to a UN study, is that such permits are "virtually impossible" to obtain, and the result is a chronic housing shortage.

"Municipality personnel came at 9:00 am (0600 GMT), broke the doors, expelled us and didn't let us take any belongings," said Faris Rajabi, 35, who lived in the building.

Rajabi said his family had gone to great lengths and paid over $100,000 in fines and fees in order to settle the issue in the courts.

The building included five apartments and housed 35 members of the Rajabi family, Faris Rajabi said.

READ MORE: Why Silwan became another Palestinian protest hotspot

EU blasts Israeli plan to evict Palestinian families

Silwan, adjacent to occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, is the site of a campaign by Jewish settler groups to expand Israeli presence there.

Palestinians have decried the influx of settlers, accusing them of seeking to push them out of their own neighbourhood.

The European Union meanwhile has condemned Israel’s plans to evict Palestinian families in the occupied West Bank.

“Settlement expansion, demolitions, and evictions are illegal under international law,” Peter Stano, the chief spokesperson for the EU diplomatic service, said in a statement, which came as a response to the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision in the Masafer Yatta eviction case.

On May 5, the court ended a legal dispute between the Israeli state, which designated the territory in the South Hebron Hills a firing zone in 1981, and the Palestinians who lived there for decades.

The decision approves the eviction of 1,200 Palestinians from eight villages in the region.

“The EU condemns such possible plans and urges Israel to cease demolitions and evictions,” Stano said, urging Israel to respect its international obligations.

READ MORE: Israel's new plan: Build a ring of settlements and go deeper into Palestine

Source: TRTWorld and agencies