In recent days, the Israeli occupation municipality has increased its issuance of demolition orders for homes and facilities in the occupied city of Jerusalem. They amounted to 92 demolition orders, aimed at forcibly displacing Jerusalemites, increasing pressure and restrictions on them, and fighting them socio-economically.
The Jerusalemites, who received these orders, fear that the occupation municipality’s bulldozers will demolish their homes at any moment, displacing them and expelling them to the streets.
Since the beginning of 2022, the rate of demolition of homes and facilities in Jerusalem has escalated noticeably, under the pretext of these structures lacking a permit. 80 demolitions were documented during the first half of this year, of which 37 were carried out by their owners as “self-demolition”, in order to avoid paying fines and demolition fees to municipality crews and mechanisms. . According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
Member of the Silwan Lands Defense Committee, Fakhri Abu Diab says that the occupation municipality is launching a systematic attack on the city of Jerusalem, as it issued 92 demolition orders for various homes and facilities this week, that concentrated in the neighborhoods of Silwan, Jabal Mukaber, Sur Baher, Beit Hanina, Al-Isawiya and Al-Tur.
Abu Diab explained in an interview with “Safa” news agency that, since the beginning of this year, the occupation municipality has distributed 1,862 judicial and administrative demolition orders for homes and buildings in separate neighborhoods of the city.
The municipality rejected structural and organizational plans, and the issuance of building permits for 52 residential buildings, and plans for 5 entire Jerusalem neighborhoods, despite their owners fulfilling all the necessary conditions and procedures.
Abu Diab points out that entire neighborhoods are threatened with demolition, such as Al-Bustan, Wadi Yasoul and Ain Al-Lawzeh in the town of Silwan, and more than 2,100 units in Jabal Al-Mukabber are also threatened with demolition in favor of the expansion of the settlement and the roads leading to them like the “American Road.”
He adds that the occupation municipality has refused, since 1967, to grant Jerusalemites in the so-called “Holy Basin” any building permits, with the aim of limiting construction and reducing the number of Jerusalemites (Palestinians), as well as preventing the development and expansion of Jerusalem neighborhoods, which leads to the creation of population issue in the city.
It is shown that the people of Jerusalem need 5,000 housing units annually, for young couples and for the natural development of the population, but the occupation authorities prevent construction and urban expansion in the Holy City.
According to Abu Diab, by doing so, the occupation authorities are seeking to increase restrictions on Jerusalemites and push them to emigrate and leave their homes.
From the beginning of the year until the beginning of July, the occupation municipality imposed about 21 million and 600,000 shekels as building violations and financial fines on Jerusalemites.
The occupation’s targeting was not limited to residential buildings, but also affected commercial establishments, whether by closure or demolition, in order to cut off the livelihood of citizens and push them to search for other sources of income outside the city, not to mention that there are dozens of mosques that have not been spared demolition orders.
The Jerusalemite activist asserts that the occupation authorities are seeking to deprive the Palestinian people of social, economic, religious, and spiritual security in the city, and make it an expelling environment for the Jerusalemites, in order to bring more Israeli settlers to live in it.
It shows that the occupation does not allow Jerusalemites to be given building licenses, but in return, it grants licenses to build thousands of settlement units in the Holy City, besieges Palestinian communities, and tightens the noose further on their residents.
According to Abu Diab, the Israeli occupation focuses on cornering the Palestinian neighborhoods of Al-Aqsa Mosque, by increasing the number of demolition orders against them and preventing Palestinian construction. These practices only come in favor of establishing Judaization and settlement projects, thus reducing the number of Jerusalemites and increasing the number of Israeli settlers, as part of a plan to Judaize the city geographically and demographically.
Abu Diab expects that the Israeli municipality will implement demolition orders in the city of Jerusalem within the next few days, as 3.5 million shekels have been allocated for demolitions, which have been transferred to the building inspection and demolition unit in the Israeli occupation municipality.
He criticizes the international and Arab silence on the issues of Jerusalem, saying: “This silence may have given the occupation the green light to persist in the policy of expelling and deporting Jerusalemites, and carrying out more attacks and violations against them.”