Three Palestinian brothers and their families found themselves homeless today after the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished their three-apartment building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan under the pretext of construction without a permit, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
At the same time, two other Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem were forced to tear down their homes on their own at orders from the Israeli municipality for construction without a permit or otherwise be forced to pay high costs if the demolition was undertaken by the municipal staff.
In Silwan, Israeli police and staff of the West Jerusalem municipality escorted bulldozers into Wadi Qaddum area where they cordoned off the three-apartment building before the bulldozers proceeded to demolish it, displacing over 25 people.
Owners of the apartments were identified as Wael Tahhan along with his brothers, Ala and Nader.
A member of the Tahhan family said that despite making several attempts to apply for the permit, the Israeli municipality did not grant them the license and instead fined them some $74,000.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a Silwan-based media center, posted a video for the demolition.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Sabia and Khaled Abu-Taa were forced to demolish their homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah purportedly for being built without a license.
Abu-Taa pointed out that he received a demolition order after he built his house a year and a half ago. Although he managed to freeze the order throughout this period, an Israeli court issued a final demolition order in July, allowing him one month to carry out the demolition himself.
According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, the”destruction of the neighborhood denies its residents the right to housing, which is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living as it is defined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
“In addition, the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the occupying state to destroy the property of residents of occupied territory, who benefit from the status of protected persons,” B’tselem added.
Source: The Palestine Chronicle