Municipality Demolishes Two Houses in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, February 5, 2014 (WAFA) – The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished Wednesday a house in Beit Hanina and part of a house in Sur Baher, two all Arab neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext they were unlicensed.

Municipality staff used bulldozers to demolish a part of a house belonging to Mujahed Abu Sarhan, 28, in Sur Baher, south of Jerusalem, and a house belonging to Mohammad Sandouka, 37, in Beit Hanina, north of the city.

Abu Sarhan said he and his family were awakened at 5:30 in the morning at the sound of a bulldozer and police, who surrounded his house and proceeded to demolish a 35-square-meter room the municipality claimed it was added to the house without permission.

He said the municipality staff did not present any papers for the demolition and did not allow them to remove the furniture before turning the room into rubble.

He said he was still paying a fine of $4000 imposed on him for the construction.

Sandouka also said he was awakened at 5 in the morning at the sound of the bulldozer and police.

He said his 65-square-meter house, which had been built for 17 years and houses a family of eight people, was quickly demolished after removing the furniture even though he was not shown a demolition order.

He said that the demolition order against his house was still pending in court and that he was still paying fines for the construction.

Both owners said they will not give in to the Israeli demolitions insisting to stay on their land and rebuild their homes.

“I will not leave my land. I will set up a tent over the rubble and rebuild my house,” Abu Sarhan told WAFA. “Israel wants to remove us from our land and city to make room for settlement construction, but I will not go anywhere and will remain steadfast in my land.”