JERUSALEM

Israel on Monday issued a demolition order for a mosque in the town of Silwan in east Jerusalem for “lack of a construction permit,” according to local residents.

Israeli authorities gave the curators of the Qaqaa Bin Amr mosque 21 days to challenge the order.

Built in 2012, the two-floor mosque accommodates hundreds of worshippers.

A similar demolition order was issued in 2015, but was never enforced.

In recent years, Israeli settlers have seized control of dozens of Palestinian homes in Silwan, which is close to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Israeli settlement organization Elad says it seeks to turn Silwan into a Jewish area called the City of David.

Israeli authorities have stepped up their demolition campaigns in Jerusalem in recent weeks, razing dozens of Palestinian homes, particularly in Silwan.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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