Israeli forces demolish Palestinian shop

Israeli forces have razed a Palestinian shop in East Jerusalem to the ground.

The demolition of the store, located in the Silwan neighborhood, has triggered scuffles between police and protesters.

The latter accuse authorities of discriminatory enforcement of building permits in the holy city.

"Here, do you see this everybody, this has only been constructed 2 months ago, it cost 300,000 shekels, I swear to God, and the merchandize is still in it."

The shop is one of at least eight properties that residents say are slated for demolition.

The municipality had given Palestinians until Monday to dismantle the structures themselves.

Authorities have earmarked the land for a park and say the shops and homes there have been built illegally.

A bulldozer escorted by Israeli police flattened Harbi Rajabi's butchers shop.

It was overlooked by the Al-Aqsa Mosque - the third holiest shrine in Islam - and the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The man who ran the store told Reuters that 14 family members depended on its income.

Residents say many buildings have been in the area for decades with some pre-dating 1967, when Israel captured East Jerusalem.

Palestinians seek East Jerusalem for a future state.

Israel deems all of Jerusalem its capital - a status not recognized internationally - and has encouraged Jewish settlement of predominantly Palestinian areas.

Palestinians there say its near-impossible for them to get building permits.

Jerusalem's deputy mayor says the municipality had approved hundreds of new Palestinian homes in Silwan.

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