The fever of house demolition in Jerusalem

The fever of house demolition in Jerusalem


The Israeli occupation authorities represented by the Israeli municipality of occupied Jerusalem demolished three houses in Jerusalem district during the last month of July, 2003. These latest demolitions raise the number of demolished houses in Jerusalem since the beginning of this year to 69. The following information collected by LRC field worker provide details about the three demolitions: 

1- The house of Mrs. Randa Abdul Latif Abu Rumaila, 38 years old, destroyed on July 3rd, 2003, in Al Ashqariya quarter, Beit Hanina, with a total area of 120 square meters. The house served as a dwelling place for 13 people, including 7 children.

Speaking to LRC field worker, the owner said the house was built in April 2003. One month later the Israeli municipality of occupied Jerusalem handed over a demolition notice to the owner. Immediately, the family submitted an objection to the municipality court who postponed the demolition several times until, finally, decided to carry out the demolition on July 3rd. On the morning of that day, about 200 soldiers and policemen besieged Al Ashqariya quarter and prevented entry and exit. Two large hammers started to destroy the house amidst protests from occupants. Mrs. Randa's sons, Mahmud, 16 years old, and Maki, 10 years old, were severely beaten by Israeli soldiers. Both of them suffered bruises and wounds in all parts of their bodies. Mahmud and his brother, Hamza, were detained at Neve Ya'qub police headquarter until the demolition process was accomplished.  

2- The house of Mr. Abdul Razaq Mahmud Mohammed I'seila, 45 years old, destroyed on July 13th,.2003, located near the chain gate inside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem with a total area of 80 square meters. 10 people lived in the house, including 5 children. See Photo 1

  Remains of the house of Abdul Razaq I'seila after demolitionPhoto taken by LRC field worker


On June 14th, 2003, the Israeli municipality of occupied Jerusalem decided to demolish the house of I'seila family under the pretext of un- licensing. This house was an extension to the old one built under the pressure of overcrowding within the family. The municipality threatened to fine the owner 50 000 NIS as demolition fees if he failed to demolish his house by his own hands by September 1st, 2003. Moreover, he was threatened to pay 50 000 NIS as fine for building without license. Under these circumstances, the owner started in mid to destroy his own house and he finished on July 13th.

In consequence, the family feels depressed as it lost hope to get a proper and decent dwelling. The family head became diabetic as a result of anger and irritability over the destruction of his house.  

3- The house of Mr. Musa Ali Mahmud Al Hirsh, 65 years old, destroyed on July 27th, 2003, located in Silwan outside the eastern wall of the old city of Jerusalem. The house area was 120 square meters. The house was inhabited by 7 people of whom were 5 children.

At 7:00 AM, an Israeli military force formed of policemen, borders guards and special task forces stormed Silwan quarters and broke into the house of Mr. Musa Al Hirsh. The family members were forcibly thrown out of the house before the demolition process began. The family contacted the family lawyer who came to the site and showed the Israeli demolition squad an order to halt demolition issued by the municipality court on 15.7.2003.  However, the Israeli force refused to respect the order and continued to demolish the house. See Photo 2

Ruins of the house of Mr. Musa Ali Mahmud Al Hirsh
Photo taken by LRC field worker

The map shows the location of the three demolished houses
Prepared by GIS unit-LRC


 82 years old arrested for not paying a high fine

The Israeli police arrested Mr. Mohammed Abdul Rahman Abu Isneina, 82 years old, from Silwan, who suffers serious health problems under the pretext of not failing to pay 120 000 NIS as fine for building without permission.  

The old man was taken to Jabel Al Mukaber police station and then transferred to the Russian compound prison in the western part of the city. He was thrown in a room crowded with 15 criminal prisoners under very difficult and inhuman conditions. Consequently, the elderly man was taken to hospital several times during his detention, which lasted for five days. His sons had to pay 20 000 NIS for his release. They were forced to sign a document to pay the rest of the amount on monthly basis. See Photo 3 

The old Man standing on the door step of his house
Photo taken by LRC field worker

 Israeli occupation authorities distribute more demolition orders 

The Israeli occupation authorities are recently distributing dozens of demolition orders against Palestinian houses in Jerusalem district. The areas covered include Jabel Al Mukaber, Sur Baher, Shu'fat, Beit Hanina and Issawiya.

In Jabel Al Mukaber alone, the following  people received copies of the demolition orders:

1.     Mr. Usama Ajlouni.

2.     Mr. Ahmad Khalil.

3.     Mr. Waleed Tawil.

4.     Mr. Isma'il Shuqirat.

5.     Ms. Ashjan Shuqirat.

6.     Mr. Fahed Joulani.

7.     Mr. Ziad Subuh.

8.     Ms. Alia Amira Shuqirat.

On the other hand, Mr. Ali Farah Ali Jamhour, resident of Beit Anan village, north west of Jerusalem, received on 22.7.2003, an order to remove a barrack he built on his private land for raising chicken and sheep. The order, also, prevents him from entering his cultivated land which is located in basin 2, parcel 78. Although the Israeli authorities claim that this piece of land is a closed area it is located on the only remaining passage entrance passing through the neighboring village of Beit Liqiya. Residents of Beit Anan are afraid that the Israeli authorities, by confiscating this piece of land, may intend to close the only remaining passage way to their village.


Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Demolition