Days of Palestine – Jerusalem
A Palestinian man from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was forced by occupying Israeli occupation forces to demolish his own home on Sunday.
According to local sources, Ayman Abu Wahdan said the Israeli occupation municipality issued a demolition order for his home under the pretext it was built without a permit.
He had no choice but to demolish the 50-square-meter home to avoid paying excessive demolition fees to the Israeli occupation municipality, he added.
Dozens of homes are under threat of demolition in Silwan with a plan of turning the neighborhood into a biblical park.
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Claiming that Palestinian buildings are “illegally constructed,” Israel regularly demolishes Palestinian homes while expanding Israeli settler units in East Jerusalem, which is considered illegal under international law.
It is common for Israeli forces to demolish buildings under the pretext of not having a permit, and applying for building permits comes with various taxes and fees, which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.
Applications for building permits also take years to be processed, giving Israeli occupation courts a loophole to increase Palestinian home demolitions by branding structures as “illegal.”
According to rights groups, about 75 percent of applications for a permit by Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem are rejected by the municipality.
Israel’s forced expulsions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem sparked international protests earlier this year as attention focused on the attempted eviction of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood residents.
The #SaveSilwan hashtag has been trending on several major social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram, after residents urged international solidarity to pressure Israel to halt the demolitions.