JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Saturday, where they delivered a demolition notice to the home of a local resident.
Local activist Jamal Amr told Ma’an that armed Israeli forces accompanied authorities from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality Saturday morning, and gave him a summons notice to meet with the municipality as well as a demolition order on his home.
Amr said that the house was built in 1954, and was legally licensed in 1993 after receiving a “renovating license” from the municipality.
It remained unclear for what reason Amr was given a demolition order on Saturday.
Amr highlighted that Israeli forces had previously banned his wife Zeina from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of East Jerusalem several times for unknown reasons.
A Jerusalem Municipality spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Demolitions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have seen an unprecedented surge in recent months, with the number of structures demolished in the first half of 2016 already well exceeding the total number of demolitions carried out in all of 2015.
According to the UN, the overall rate of Israeli demolitions since the start of 2015 exceeds every year since the UN began monitoring the practice in 2009.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat warned on Monday that any dismantlement of the illegal Israeli outpost Amona in the occupied West Bank would result in the mass demolition of Palestinian homes lacking Israeli-issued building permits in East Jerusalem.
According to AFP, the mayor was quoted as saying that the demolition of Amona — in line with an Israeli Supreme Court ruling — “could have implications for similar cases in Jerusalem, where Arabs have illegally built on private or municipal land.”
A large number of Israeli demolitions are carried out under claims of Palestinians not obtaining Israeli-issued building permits, particularly those residing in Area C — the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control. However, Palestinians are rarely granted permits by Israeli authorities to build in Area C, forcing many to build illegally.
In occupied East Jerusalem, though the Israel’s Jerusalem municipality has said that compared to the Jewish population, they receive a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which they boasted “see high approval ratings,” procedures to apply for Israeli-issued building permits are lengthy, sometimes lasting for several years, while the application costs can reach up to 300,000 shekels ($79,180).
As four out of five of Palestinians in East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, applying for costly building permits is nearly impossible, and only seven percent of Jerusalem building permits go to Palestinian neighborhoods.
More than 1,383 Palestinians have been displaced since the beginning of 2016 as a result of demolitions in the occupied territory, compared to 688 Palestinians displaced over the entirety of 2015, according to UN documentation.
(Source / 12.11.2016)