Days of Palestine – Jerusalem
The Israeli occupation forces today demolished a two-story, four-apartment residential building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyya displacing, as a result, four families, including 12 children.
Local sources said that large numbers of Israeli soldiers were accompanied by a bulldozer that reached the vicinity of the building and began to demolish it.
Fadi Ilayyan said that the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem informed him yesterday that it is going to demolish the four-apartment building constructed 10 years ago and occupied by his family, along with his father and two brothers, Murad and Amjad, displacing 17 members of the Ilayyan family, including 10 children.
He added that the Israeli occupation authorities pressed ahead with the demolition to punish him for his work as a guard at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem although the building was located within the master plan of the built-up area of Isawiyya.
Alayyan was arrested and deported from Al-Aqsa Mosque several times, for allegedly disrupting settler incursions and protesting against the occupation soldiers' desecration of the prayer halls.
On August 8, an Israeli court rejected an appeal to freeze the demolition order against the building, effectively banning the Ilayyan family from completing the procedures to obtain the necessary license.
According to data released by the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, since the beginning of 2004 until the end of last year, the occupation demolished 1,097 homes in East Jerusalem, while Jerusalemites self-demolished approximately 235 homes during the same period to avoid very high fines imposed by the occupation on them after carrying out the demolitions with its bulldozers.
The same data indicate that from the beginning of 2004 until the end of last year, approximately 3,579 Jerusalemites were displaced after the demolition of their homes.