Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem forced to self-demolish his house

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber was forced to demolish his own home after receiving a demolition order from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem, according to the house owner, Bishara al-Muhtaseb.

Al-Muhtaseb said he was forced today to self-demolish his 50-square-meters home or else the Israeli municipality will demolish it and obligate him to pay the exorbitant costs. The demolition rendered him, and his six family members, mostly children, homeless.

The owner said: “I don’t know where we’re going to sleep tonight. The rent in Jerusalem is too high and I built this simple little house for my family,’ adding that the occupation imposed a fine on him seven years ago; over 20,000 Shekels, and later handed him a notice ordering him to demolish the house, or else the Israeli municipality will demolish it and obligate him to pay the exorbitant costs.

Under the pretext of building without a permit, which is rarely granted to Palestinians in the occu
pied city, the Israeli municipality has been demolishing or forcing Palestinians to demolish their own houses as part of a policy aimed to restrict Palestinian expansion and growth in occupied Jerusalem.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem find themselves compelled to tear down their homes after receiving a demolition order to avoid paying exorbitant costs to the Israeli municipality if it carries out the demolition.

Palestinians say they are forced to build without permits because the Israeli municipality discriminates against them and refuses to issue permits or places unreasonable conditions that they cannot afford to issue a permit.

At the same time, thousands of housing units are built for Jewish settlers in the city on appropriated Palestinian lands and are made easily accessible to them.

Source: Palestine news and Information Agency – WAFA