On 27 January 2014 the Jerusalem Municipality demolished homes and other buildings in East Jerusalem. Following are images of four of the homes demolished that day as well as images of another home whose owner was compelled to demolish the structure himself. All photos are by B’Tselem field researcher ‘Amer ‘Aruri.
These photos illustrate Israel’s policy in East Jerusalem, which aims to keep a majority of Jerusalem’s population Jewish. To that end, Israel greatly restricts the development of Palestinian neighborhoods and practically precludes lawful construction there:
Israel has appropriated vast tracts of land surrounding heavily populated Palestinian areas in East Jerusalem and built Jewish neighborhoods on those lands. Master plans for Palestinian neighborhoods drawn up by the Jerusalem Municipality are partial and are a far cry from meeting the needs of the residents or relieving high residential density. The plans result in a shortage of public buildings and open spaces. Residential density in these neighborhoods is extremely high. For example, according to figures by Israeli human rights organization Bimkom the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-'Esawiyah has a population density 2.5 times as high as that of nearby Jewish neighborhoods.
East Jerusalem residents have no option but to build their homes without construction permits. Their homes face the constant threat of demolition, so residents live in a continual state of uncertainty regarding their future. From 2004 through December 2013, the Jerusalem Municipality and Israel’s Ministry of the Interior demolished 498 residences in East Jerusalem, rendering homeless 1,948 people, including 1,063 minors.
Eyes Wide Open Photo Blog by B’Tselem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You are free to use the photos in the blog. However, any public use of photos must include copyright credit to the photographer and B’Tselem.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.