Two Palestinian homeowners today confirmed that they were notified about the planned demolition of their structures in Wadi al-Hummus area on the edge of Sur Baher neighborhood, southeast of Jerusalem.
Haytham Zeitoun told WAFA that he received an Israeli order several days ago, informing him that Israeli forces plan to demolish his three-floor residential building, which he built at a cost of ILS 800,000 (some USD $230,000).
He pointed out that Israel deliberately concealed its intention to demolish his building until the construction was complete although he has already obtained a building license from the Palestinian authorities as the construction area is classified as Area A, which falls under the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) full control under the Oslo Accords.
He warned that Israel harbors intentions to carry out large-scale demolitions in the area under the pretext the construction poses a threat to the Israeli security.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Amireh said that he received a similar demolition order against the second floor of his house two days ago.
He affirmed that Israel is carrying out home demolitions as part of its ethnic cleansing policy of the Palestinians in Jerusalem in general and Wadi al-Hummus area in particular, disregarding the fact that it coasted the Palestinian homeowners a lot to build their houses after obtaining the necessary permits from the PA.
This came as a third Palestinian from the same area, identified as Ayman al-Hih, was notified about the planned demolition of his one-floor 158-square-meter house, inhabited by his family, citing the same pretext.
In July 2019, Israel demolished 10 Palestinian buildings, comprising 100 apartments, in the same area.
Israel demolishes Palestinian houses and structures almost on a daily basis as a means to achieve “demographic control” of the occupied territories.
Israel denies planning permits for Palestinians to build on their own land or to extend existing houses to accommodate natural growth, particularly in Jerusalem and Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and falls under full Israeli military rule, forcing residents to build without obtaining rarely-granted permits to provide shelters for their families.
In contrast, Israel argues that building within existing colonial settlements is necessary to accommodate the “natural growth” of settlers. Therefore, it much more easily gives the estimated 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.