Ir Amim: The occupation set a new record for the number of houses demolished in Jerusalem

Muhammad Abu Khdeir - "Ir Amim" Association revealed new data indicating that the demolition of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem reached a record for the year 2020, and two months before the end of the year the number of homes demolished by Israel is the highest since 20 Years old.

The Ir Amim Association said in a report that the demolition of houses in Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities this year reached a number that is the highest since the beginning of the documentation of house demolitions 20 years ago, as the occupation municipality in Jerusalem carried out, between January and October This year, 129 housing units were demolished, and this record for house demolitions this year exceeded the previous number recorded in 2016, during which 123 housing units were demolished.

The highest number of house demolitions was recorded in the year 2020, although the Israeli authorities froze home demolitions twice during this year for three months due to the Corona crisis: between March 24 - May 25 - and between September 18 - until October 18.

Ir Amim attributed this increase in house demolitions to a double cause, as it has not been for more than twenty years the approval of structural plans for the development of Palestinian neighborhoods in the city.

The matter emerged this week when it became clear that the master plan promoted by the municipality for the Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood had been transformed into a master plan, and such a plan, even if approved, will not allow issuance of building permits within its framework, and building permits cannot be issued under The absence of an updated structural plan allocating land for construction, and this is an escalating crisis, as most families in East Jerusalem do not have the opportunity to obtain building permits, despite the natural increase in population.

The association said, "The second reason is the entry into force of Amendment No. 116 of the Planning and Building Law, and this amendment led to a jump in self-demolition operations. The legal amendment that came into effect in 2019 specifies that the implementation of the law and the penalties against building without a permit. They will double, and restrictions will be imposed on the courts' ability to intervene in this type of construction.According to Israeli law, the year 2019 witnessed a sharp increase in the level of self-demolition of 40 housing units, compared to the average of 10-15 housing units that were demolished in Previous years.

Ir Amim clarified today and within less than a year, since January 20, the number of self-demolition times has more than doubled, and its number has now reached 84 housing units and 30 additional buildings. On the other hand, it increases the rate of home demolitions.

For his part, Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at the Ir Amim association, said: “The fact that the demolitions reach their climax, especially in the days of the Coronavirus, clarifies the government's priorities that do not even prevent the pandemic between it and the demolition of homes.

He added that the Palestinians are forced to build without a permit due to the Israeli policy of not approving a master plan in East Jerusalem. Only the approval of a master plan would provide a solution to the great distress that the Palestinians suffer in Jerusalem, and this is what Israel should demand.

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