Israel Demolishes Palestinian-Owned Home in East Jerusalem Area

JERUSALEM, September 21, 2015 (WAFA) – Bulldozers of the so-called West Jerusalem municipality early Monday demolished a Palestinian-owned home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud, citing the pretext of unpermitted building.

WAFA correspondent reported that bulldozers and staff from the West Jerusalem municipality, backed by a large Israeli military force, cordoned off the area before proceeding to demolish a house belonging to al-Abasi family.

According to OCHA weekly report covering the period between 1 and 7 of September 2015, “On 3 September, the Israeli authorities demolished seven Palestinian-owned structures in East Tayba Bedouin community in Area C for lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 9 people, including five children, and otherwise affecting 10 others.”

In the southern West Bank, OCHA added that, “dozens of demolition and stop work orders were issued in Area C, including against 18 residential structures and a donor-funded school serving 40 students in three communities in the Massafer Yatta area (Hebron) which has been designated by the Israeli authorities since the 1980’s as a closed military zone for training.

“Around 1000 people currently living in this area are at risk of forcible transfer,” OCHA stated.

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Israeli authorities prohibit Palestinian construction in vast areas of Area C citing various rationales, such as “defining these areas as state land, survey land, firing zones, nature reserves and natural parks, or by incorporating lands into the jurisdiction of settlements and regional councils.”

Israel rarely issues construction permits for Palestinians living in East Jerusalem as well in Area C of the West Bank, both under complete Israeli control, forcing may Palestinians to embark on construction without obtaining a permit.

“Given the Civil Administration’s policy, the prospects for receiving a building permit outside the scope of the master plans are very slim. Therefore, most Palestinians feel it is futile to apply and do not even submit an application.”

According to B’Tselem, some owners demolish their own homes after receiving a demolition order, to avoid being charged with high demolition costs and fines by the Israeli municipality.