Israel forces Palestinian family in East Jerusalem to demolish their own home

Israel forces Palestinian family in East Jerusalem to demolish their own home
A home was forcibly demolished by Israel in the East Jerusalem village of Silwan, whilst another family was forced to tear down their own home in Jabal Al-Mukkabir, rendering two Palestinian families homeless.
2 min read
30 November, 2021
Palestinian homes in Jerusalem are under threat, activists say [Getty]

Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished two Palestinian homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Silwan and Jabal Al-Mukkabir, whilst forcing another man to destroy his own home.

Israeli police made their way into Bir Ayoub area of Silwan and sealed off a house belonging to Palestinian resident Mohammad Zaytoon before municipal crews dismantled it, according to Palestinian Authority's official news agency Wafa.

The home was demolished after a demolition order was sent to Zaytoon's home five years ago, ordering him to level the building.

Zaytoon and his entire family, which includes three children, are now homeless.

The heavily-armed police officers stopped journalists from documenting the demolition.

Meanwhile, Palestinian resident Amir Rabay'a was forced to demolish his own home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabal Al-Mukabbir. If he had refused, Israeli authorities would demolish the structure and charge him an extortionate fine, reports stated.

The two homes were destroyed under the pretext of being built without licenses, something that residents say are near impossible to obtain.

Dozens of homes are under threat of demolition in Silwan with a plan of turning the neighbourhood into a biblical theme park.

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Claiming that Palestinian buildings there are "illegally constructed", Israel regularly demolishes Palestinian homes while expanding Israeli settler units in East Jerusalem, considered illegal under international law.

It is common for Israeli forces to demolish buildings under the pretext of not having a permit. Applying for such permits comes with various taxes and fees, which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.

Applications for building permits are also known to take years to be processed, giving Israeli courts a loophole to increase Palestinian home demolitions by branding structures as "illegal".

Almost 75 percent of applications for a permit by the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem are rejected by the municipality, according to rights groups.

Israel's forced expulsions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem sparked international protests earlier this year as attention focused on the attempted expulsion of residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

The #SaveSilwan hashtag has for months been trending on a number of major social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram after residents urged international solidarity to pressure Israel to halt the demolitions.