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Israel begins to demolish homes on Jerusalem outskirts, stoking Palestinian fears

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Israel begins to demolish homes on Jerusalem outskirts, stoking Palestinian fears

Israel forces began demolishing buildings near a military barrier on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Monday, in the face of Palestinian protests and international criticism.

Al Jazeera disclosed that bulldozers accompanied by hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police moved in to Sur Baher, a Palestinian village on the edge of East Jerusalem in an area that Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East War.

The demolition is the latest round of protracted wrangling over the future of Jerusalem, home to more than 500,000 Israelis and 300,000 Palestinians, and sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

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Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in June that the structures violated a construction ban. The deadline for residents to remove the affected buildings, or parts of them, expired on Friday.

The sprawling village of Sur Baher straddles the line between East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Its political geography is complicated by the fact that parts of it lie outside the municipal boundaries of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem but on the Israeli side of the barrier, cutting it off from the rest of the West Bank.

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