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

Israel forces Palestinian family to demolish their own home in occupied East Jerusalem
Jerusalemite Ayman Naim Kawasbe said he and his family were forced by the Israeli occupation to sell their own furniture and demolish their own home.
2 min read
09 October, 2018
Israel has been illegally occupying the West Bank since 1967 [Getty]

A Palestinian family from East Jerusalem were forced to tear down their own home after receiving demolition threats from the West Jerusalem municipality, to avoid extortionate costs of getting Israeli bulldozers to demolish the house.

Jerusalemite Ayman Naim Kawasbe said he had received a demolition order from the Israeli controlled municipality for the house he built in Beit Hanina neighbourhood.

Israeli authorities told him that if he refused to demolish his house himself, Israeli bulldozers would do it instead, slapping him with exortionate demolition fees and taxes - leading them to sell their own furniture and demolish their own house.

The demolition order came under the pretext of the Kawasbe family not having a building permit.

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".

Four out of five of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, and applying for building permits comes with various taxes and fees amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

Between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of all Palestinian building permit applications across the occupied West Bank were approved by Israel, according to the UN.

The cost of a permit for a single home is estimated to be in the region of $30,000.

51 years of illegal occupation

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, committing various crimes against Palestinian civilians.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Along with stealing land, occupying Israeli forces and settlers routinely torment Palestinians in various ways.

Earlier this month, the body of a Palestinian youth thought to have been beaten to death during a raid on his home, was returned by Israeli officials to the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank.

Mohammed Rimawi, 24, is believed to have died of injuries sustained when Israeli forces stormed his home in Beit Rima and violently beat him before taking him into custody on September 18.

"The Israeli authorities handed over Mohammed's body near the settlement of Ariel, near Salfit," Adel Barghouti, the former mayor of Beit Rima, told The New Arab.