A Palestinian man has been arrested after Israeli police raided his home in East Jerusalem in the latest of a series of crackdowns on illegal construction in East Bank and West Bank neighborhoods, Israeli police said Sunday.
The suspect, a 31-year-old resident of the Shuafat neighborhood in East Ramallah, was taken into custody shortly after midnight on Sunday, the Jerusalem police said in a statement.
The police said the suspect was wanted on suspicion of “illegal construction in the occupied West Bank and the illegal construction of Palestinian structures.”
Police also arrested two people in the Shuabat neighborhood.
The Jerusalem police did not immediately give further details about the two arrests.
The Israeli government, which has been battling Palestinian protests in the West Bank since 2013, has stepped up efforts to crack down on construction in parts of East Jerusalem and in the southern West Bank.
In 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court declared the Shuabi neighborhood in the Israeli-controlled West Bank as illegal under international law.
A year earlier, the United Nations had also criticized the government for not doing enough to stop illegal construction.
The government has repeatedly said the government is not trying to build homes in Shuabi and that there are no plans to build any homes in the neighborhood.
In 2015, the government said it would halt building in Shuabata and was working with local authorities to build a new neighborhood in Shuafata.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in 2014 was the most recent in a string of court rulings that have upheld Israeli construction in disputed areas of East Bank, including the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, as well as the Abu Dis district of East Ramlah.
The court also said that illegal construction could not be considered an obstacle to Israel’s continued sovereignty in the area.