Israel resumes its systematical policy of demolishing Plaestinian houses in East Jerusalem

Israel resumes its systematical policy of demolishing Plaestinian houses in East Jerusalem



Over the past four decades of the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territory, Israel has pursued a policy of forced eviction and demolitions of Palestinian houses in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, with particular emphasis in occupied East Jerusalem.


Following the outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada (Al Aqsa Intifada) in September 2000, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem carried out an extensive campaign to demolish Palestinian houses to unprecedented level. Accordingly, from September 2000 until May 2007, 505 Palestinian houses were demolished in East Jerusalem, mainly for building without proper authorization.


The Israeli policy of destroying the Palestinian houses and properties in Jerusalem is correlated with Israeli long-standing policy of appropriating as much as possible of the Palestinian lands it occupies, and guaranteeing a Jewish demographic supremacy with the Palestinian not exceeding at any time one-third of the cityâ��s population. See Map of Greater Jerusalem

Ever Ending War Crimes

On May 20, 2007, the Israeli Bulldozers of the 'Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem', protected by the Israeli Occupation Army stormed the Palestinian village of Sur Baher south of the city and demolished four Palestinian houses owned by the local residents Mr. Salem Al Bekheit and Mr. Ayman Hammad.


During the demolition of Mr. Al Bekheit, building the Israeli Army brutally assaulted the owner of the house and two of his neighbors, while protesting the demolishing of the house. The owner of the houses was denied a reasonable standing period of the demolishing process, enough to obtain a court order from the Municipality to pay a fine and halt the demolishing of the house. The Israeli Jerusalem Municipal Court issued an order to stop the demolition for one hour in order to give Mr.Al Bekheit a chance to pay 20,000 NIS ($5000) as a fine, but when the court order arrived, the house was completely demolished by the Israeli bulldozers.


Mr. Al Bekheit indicated that he applied for a building license to the Municipality, which informed him that he will get the reply on his request by the fax during the same week the demolishing was carried out, but instead, he received the reply through the Israeli bulldozers which demolished his (220 m2) two story building.


The second demolished building is owned by the local resident Mr. Ayman Hammad. The building is in fact a demolished building constituted of 4 apartments units for him and several of his sons. The Israeli bulldozers backed by the Israeli Occupation Army started to demolish the housing project, even without giving the residents enough time to get their belongings out. the demolishing went on under the pretext of lacking building permits from the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem. Mr. Hammad stated that the Israeli Jerusalemâ��s Municipality Court  had postponed the demolition order three times and ordered him to pay 50,000 NIS ($12,000) as a fine.


Palestinian Houses demolished in East Jerusalem during the year 2007

Month/ 2007

No. of Palestinian demolished Houses


















Legal & International Status

Israel insists on retaining control over the whole of the city of Jerusalem, neglecting the Palestinian compromises to share the city on equal terms. The Israeli demolitions of the Palestinian homes in and around the occupied East Jerusalem are increasingly common, with more than 60 Palestinian houses destroyed during 2007.


These Israeli acts are imposing facts on the ground, are undermining the status of East Jerusalem to be the Capital of the future Palestinian State, and are undermining the prospects for peace in the region.


According to article XXXI of the 1995 Oslo agreement Israelis forbidden from making any changes to the status of the occupied city until its negotiated in the final status issues. The article states, 'Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations'.


According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is prohibited to demolish the Palestinian houses as indicated in Article 53 of the Convention, which provides that:'Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.


And the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) Article 5 provides that 'States' Parties undertake to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination in all of its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights: … (e) in particular … (iii) the right to housing'.


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Prepared by
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Reports