Israel Demolishes Three Palestinian Families’ Homes in East Jerusalem, Jenin

JERUSALEM, June 2, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities Tuesday demolished two houses that belong to Palestinian families and an apartment in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to local sources.

Nedal Abu Rmeileh, owner of one of the houses, said staff from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem accompanied by heavy machinery broke into the area in the early morning, and demolished the two houses, still under construction.

An Israeli court earlier ordered the two houses to be demolished for lack of construction permits, said Abu Rmeileh, who was forced to build a house to shelter his family, as issuance of construction permits by Israel to Palestinians is strictly limited.

The demolition of the two houses provoked confrontations with local residents, during which Israeli police officers fired teargas canisters towards the residents to disperse them.

Meanwhile, bulldozers of the Israeli municipality demolished the roof of a Palestinian-owned house located at Salaheddine Street in Jerusalem, also under the pretext of construction without permission.

In Jenin, Israeli army bulldozers demolished a small house and an artesian well in the village of Rummaneh, northwest of the city, for alleged unpermitted construction.

Issuance of construction permits for Palestinians living in Area C and East Jerusalem, under full Israeli administrative and military control, is strictly limited. Palestinians living in these areas have no other option but to construct without obtaining permits.

Humanitarian and legal bodies and institutions such as the United Nations, OCHA and B’Tselem confirm that the planning policies applied by Israel in Area C and East Jerusalem discriminate against Palestinians, making it extremely difficult for them to obtain building permits.

“As a result, many Palestinians build without permits to meet their housing needs and risk having their structures demolished. Palestinians must have the opportunity to participate in a fair and equitable planning system that ensures their needs are met,” OCHA reports.

According to OCHA, in 2014 alone, Israeli authorities demolished a total of 97 buildings in East Jerusalem, while demolished five others in 2015, under the pretext of building without a construction permit.