Friday, January 22, 2021

NGO reports sharp rise in East Jerusalem house demolitions

By The Palestine Monitor - January 20, 2020
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Jerusalem] [House Demolition]

NGO Ir Amim has reported a 44 per cent spike in home demolitions in East Jerusalem compared to the same time in the previous year. 

In a recent report released this week, the Israeli advocacy group said 104 housing units were demolished in 2019 compared with 72 units in 2018.

Aviv Tatarsky, the Ir Amim researcher responsible for the report stated that even though Palestinians make up about one-third of Jerusalem's population, only 7 per cent of housing units driven by city planners last year were for Palestinian neighbourhoods. 

"The situation in East Jerusalem has been very bad last year," Tartarsky described.

Israel’s maintains the houses demolished were built illegally and the destruction was court authorised. But Palestinians say they face a severe housing crisis fuelled by Israel's reluctance to issue building permits.

"All the money that I've collected during the past years, I've spent it to build this house and in moments they destroyed it under the pretext that I didn't have a permit," said Mohammed al-Barzyan, a Palestinian whose house was demolished last year, according to Al Jazeera.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights in the 1967 'Six-Day-War’, a move unrecognised under international law. Both Israel and Palestine consider an undivided Jerusalem as part of their future capital. 

Occupied East Jerusalem has a Palestinian population of at least 370,000 and some 209,000 Israeli Jewish settlers.

According to human rights organisation B’Tselem, “Israeli policy in East Jerusalem is geared toward pressuring Palestinians to leave, thereby shaping a geographical and demographic reality that would thwart any future attempt to challenge Israeli sovereignty there.” 

“Palestinians who do leave East Jerusalem, due to this policy or for other reasons, risk losing their permanent residency and the attendant social benefits.” 

Since 1967, Israel has revoked the permanent residency of some 14,500 Palestinians from East Jerusalem under such circumstances.


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