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From the field

East Jerusalem: Construction is “unlawful”, demolition is by the book

On Tuesday, 15 August 2017, Jerusalem Municipality employees went with a Border Police escort to four East Jerusalem neighborhoods where they demolished dwellings and other structures, citing construction without a permit as pretext. All the while, the municipality does whatever is in its power to keep Palestinians from building lawfully.

In the al-Bustan section of the neighborhood of Silwan, authorities demolished a residential building which was home to eight people, including six minors. They also demolished a shed that served the home’s owner as a storehouse. Over the past few years eviction claims have been served to over 80 families who have been living in that neighborhood for decades.

Demolition of the home in Silwan. Filmed by a local resident.

In the neighborhood of al-‘Esawiyah authorities demolished a two-story building: The first floor housed two shops; the second was residential, and was the rented home of six foreign nationals.
Demolition of the building in al-‘Esawiyah. Filmed by a local resident.

Authorities demolished a car-sales lot in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina and a tire-repair shop in the neighborhood of Jabal al Mukabber.

Demolition of tire-repair shop in Jabal al-Mukabber. Filmed by a local resident.

The following were demolished in East Jerusalem from January 2017 through 15 August 2017:

42 dwellings, including 6 that were demolished by their owners (to avoid paying fines and footing the bill of demolition by the municipality). Authorities thereby rendered 118 people homeless, including 66 minors.

In addition, authorities demolished 79 non-residential structures of various types (including fences, storerooms, farming sheds, shops and a mosque).p>