Jerusalem Struggles Amidst Mounting Demolitions
In a distressing turn of events, Jerusalem, a city teeming with historical and cultural significance, finds itself in the throes of a growing wave of house demolitions and the destruction of commercial properties owned by its Palestinian residents. This disturbing trend is part of an ongoing and relentless campaign aimed at displacing these residents and subjecting them to financial hardship through heavy taxes, fines, and forced demolitions. The ultimate objective appears to be the complete dominance of Jerusalem by Israeli authorities, further isolating it from its surrounding areas.
Anata’s Shocking Wake-Up Call: A Wide-Scale Demolition Operation
People of “Anata,” a neighborhood in Jerusalem, were jolted awake one Wednesday morning by a devastating demolition operation conducted by Israeli bulldozers and heavy machinery in the Al-Baq’an neighborhood. This operation resulted in extensive and grievous losses estimated to be worth millions of shekels.
The bulldozers razed 13 commercial structures, including two homes, in the Al-Baq’an neighborhood, which is part of the industrial area in the town of Anata, located northeast of Jerusalem. The demolition operation persisted for more than nine arduous hours, during which nine commercial shops, an animal farm, an under-construction house, and another house adjacent to it were reduced to rubble. Additionally, a hall and a gathering space for the Ghaith family in the town met a similar fate.
Extending the Campaign of Demolitions: Alarming Trends Continue
As part of the extensive demolition campaign, during the hours of destruction in Anata, Israeli forces ventured into the Sawaneh neighborhood, distributing demolition notices. Furthermore, demolition notices for residential buildings had been issued some time ago in the Ras Khamees area of the Shuafat refugee camp.
Demographic Warfare: A Dire Situation Unfolding
Ziad Al-Hamouri, a dedicated human rights activist, underscores that Israel is actively waging a demographic war against the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem. He highlights that more than 20,000 demolition orders loom, ready to be executed at any moment. These orders come alongside the burden of exorbitant taxes imposed on Jerusalemites and a systematic attempt to undermine their education system while slashing their budgets.
Al-Hamouri sounds a warning, asserting that Israel is diligently working to forcibly displace and expel over 200,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem. Simultaneously, Israeli authorities persist with their policy of blocking Jerusalem residents from constructing or renovating structures, citing alleged permit deficiencies and imposing substantial fines for violations.
Escalation of Confrontation: Responding to Injustice
Hamas, a prominent Palestinian organization, asserts that Israel is intensifying its demolition efforts against Palestinian homes as part of its ongoing demographic war against the Palestinian people and its relentless expulsion of Jerusalemites. This belligerent approach aligns with the oppressive policies of the Israeli government, which seeks to subdue Palestinians through harsh and brutal means.
Hamas vehemently condemns the demolitions targeting the homes and properties of Jerusalemites in Anata, along with the stifling restrictions on construction and the imposition of exorbitant building permit fees. They emphasize that the steadfast Palestinian people will not yield to the oppressive policies of the occupation and call for the utilization of all available means to support the people of Jerusalem and escalate their resistance.