Israel´s policy of house demolitions threatens the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem

The honeymoon of two Palestinian brothers has turned into a nightmare after the Israeli army destroyed their homes in a rally in Wadi Abu Hindi east of Jerusalem to face a bitter and homeless life.

The brothers, Mus'ab and Mohammed al-Hammadin, sit on two plastic chairs near their homes after they have become piles of concrete and cast tin, in the middle of a barren land planted with some small shrubs.

Musab (28 years) and the elder brother of Mohammed: "It was not our wedding 25 days when I attended a force accompanied by military bulldozers last Wednesday and began to demolish the houses." He added: "We were dreaming of a beautiful life and a stable family, and now we are displaced We do not know what to do ?, They are trying to force us to leave."

"The vehicles started to demolish the houses without warning and we were even prevented from objecting to legal procedures to stop the demolition," said the father of the two youths, Mohammed al-Hammadin, the mayor of the community. He pointed out that an Israeli crew came to their area of ​​residence a few days ago and took some pictures of the houses and left (..) They did not give us any notifications, and when we spoke to the lawyers, they told us that nothing can be objected to because there is no notification of demolition or a warning that we present to the trial.

Some 65 Palestinian families live in the Wadi Abu Hindi community in predominantly shantytowns, complaining that Israel bans them from building on their land and is constantly restricting them.

Abu Emad al-Jahalin, head of the group, said that several demolitions of houses in the community recently under the pretext of building without a permit.

The Jahalin considered that the policy of demolishing houses "falls within the policy of the occupation to displace them by force and emptying their areas in favor of settlement expansion."

According to the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B'Tselem), the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem has demolished 165 houses in the east of the city since the beginning of 2019, under the pretext of building without permits, causing the displacement of dozens of residents.

A spokesman for the organization, Karim Jubran, said in a press statement that the Israeli municipality has stepped up its policy of demolishing houses and refrains from approving the master plans for Palestinians in the Jerusalem area.

The municipality imposes fines on homeowners, including the cost of demolition, forcing a number of Jerusalemites to demolish their homes with their own hands.

"Of the 165 demolitions this year, 40 have been forced to demolish them with their own hands to avoid paying the high cost of the demolition bill," he added.

He pointed out that the Israeli authorities also canceled all the old structural plans in Jerusalem, and confiscated a lot of land, and most of the unconstructed areas declared green areas, natural reserves or archaeological areas, and others with the aim of depriving the Palestinians of building or expanding their lands.


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