House Demolishing in Beit Hanina – Jerusalem

House Demolishing in Beit Hanina – Jerusalem


Israeli occupation forces have demolished a Palestinian house on the 25th of October 1999. The house was located in Houd Al Tabel parcel 4 in Beit Hanina. The total area of the house was 180 meter squared, had 10 rooms and was owned by the following Palestinian families:

1.     Faizeh Fuad Khaleel Mahmoud (8 people 5 of which were children)

2.     Sarah Fuad Khaleel Khader (9 people 4 of which were children)

3.     Najwah Fuad Khaleel Mutair (8 people 76 of which were children)

The total loss to the family, aside from being left homeless, include $100,000 cost of building the house, $50,000 cost of additional damage done by the demolishing, in addition to more than $2,000 lawyer fees. The pretext under which the municipality demolished the house was building in a green area.

Mrs. Faizeh Khaleel Mahmoud started the construction of the house in 1991. The two sisters joined her later and when the house was completed each one of the three sisters and their families moved in the house. Each one of them lived in a separate apartment.

The employees of the municipality came to the location of the house in 1992 and issued a violation against Mrs. Faizeh. The municipality issued another violation on the 1st of May 1995. The date of 5-7-1995 was set as court date for her. The court's decision was a fine of NIS 7,000 for building without a permit, otherwise Mrs. Faizeh faced 140 days in prison. In addition, the court ordered Mrs. Faizeh not to add any new building to the house and it gave Mrs. Faizeh two years to get a building permit.

The fine was paid in monthly installment of NIS 1000 each and Mrs. Faizeh applied twice to get a building permit. She was twice denied. The stated reason was that the classification of the land upon which the house was built on was 'green area.' That was despite the fact that the house was surrounded with a great number of house from all directions.

In May 1999 the Israeli Court in Jerusalem issued an order to demolish the house. The order was rescheduled only for a week on 5-7-1999 instead of the four months requested by the lawyer Osama Al Sa'ady.

During that period of time an agreement was reached between the municipality and the Interior Ministry on the one hand with the Committee for the Development of Beit Hanina on the other. The agreement called upon the municipality to call off all demolishing orders until a Master Plan can be reached for all the 150 'unauthorized' buildings in Beit Hanina. In effect, all the cases in Beit Hanina became one case. As a result, the case was taken away from Mr. Al Sa'ady in July 1999 and given to the Committee. A fee of NIS 2000 was paid to the Committee by only one day before the demolishing took place.

The Demolishing:

On the 25th of October 1999 at 7:30 AM a huge Israeli military force consisting of Israeli Police, Border Guards, and special Forces surrounded the house. About 30 Romanian workers evacuated the house and removed some of the furniture and put it outside in an unorganized manner which caused to become obsolete. The house was demolished on the rest of the furniture. most of the inhabitants of the house were not present when the demolishing took place as the kids were in school while the grown ups were attending to their work.

An eye witness account was recorded. Rasha, a 10th grader that used to live the demolished house, said that she was awaken by the sound of about 4 to 5 soldiers in her bedroom. She saw a soldier carrying a video camera recording what was going on. She also mentioned that a soldier told her that they were going to level the house with the ground. She said that the workers removed some of the furniture in the first floor while they kept everything on the top floor as is and demolished the house on top of the furniture.


After the demolishing of the house the three families were forced to live in tiny tents that are not suitable for human living especially in the winter season. And since the remaining furniture cannot be accommodated inside of the tents, it stayed outside of the tents which made it obsolete. This hardship caused the families to rebuild the house once again and without a permit. In response, the municipality issued a warning to the family of Fuad Khaleel Ibrahim Khader to stop the building process. It also deiced on the 24th of January 2000 there will be a court hearing against Mr. Fuad Khaleel for building without a permit.


Notes & Analysis:

The Land Research Center (LRC) noted the following points in regard to this case: The initial violation and the subsequent court order of demolishing came after four years of inhibiting the house by the sisters. The house is the first house to be demolished after 9 years of building it under the pretext of building without permit.

The demolishing of the house under the pretext that it was built in a green area ignores the fact that the site is full of houses. It also ignores the fact that the house is surrounded with other houses that are less than three or four meters away.




The inhabitants of the house abided by the court ruling by not adding any new building to the house. Throughout the nine years the lists issued by the municipality containing the names of the houses to be demolished did not contain the name of this house.

Only one day before the demolishing took place the Committee for the Development of Beit Hanina visited the house and took NIS 1000 as to help in drawing the master plan for the whole of Beit Hanina according to the agreement with the municipality. Yet, the municipality did not hold its part of the agreement with the population of Beit Hanina.

There are more than 150 nearby houses built without permit. The houses are inhabited by more than 500 people. Despite that fact, the municipality considers that land to be Green Land ??!!!!!!.



Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Demolition