Israeli violations in Jerusalem during the month of June, 2008

Israeli violations in Jerusalem during the month of June, 2008

Israeli violations in Jerusalem during the month of June, 2008


Type of violation

No. of violations

* Right to housing


   a) Actual house demolition


   b) House demolition notifications


   c) Raids and seizure


* Land confiscation


* Barriers and closure


* Raids and closures


* Other








Case No. 1: Israeli occupation authorities destroy the house of Al faqih family for the second time


On June 10, 2008, Israeli bulldozers destroyed for the second time the house of Al Faqih family located in At Tour ( Mt. of Olives) under the pretext of lack of permit. The house (area= 50 m2) is inhabited by a couple and their three children.


Bothers Taysir and Wa'el Abdul Allah Al Faqih appealed to Jerusalem's magistrates court against the municipality court's decision to demolish their homes, but in vain.  


On the day of the demolition, Israeli army and police surrounded the house at 12:30 PM. The mother of the three children (aged 45 days, 5 years and 7.5 years) closed her door and refused to open it despite all the terrorist means used by the army personnel. Only after the interference of the father, Taysir, who arrived lately at the scene and saw how much his children were terrorized by the attack that the door was opened. The mother confirmed that once she opened the door, soldiers broke into the house with a sniff dog and she was detained with her children until the completion of the demolition process. She claimed to have lost a golden bracelet, a ring and some cash. Most importantly, the whole family has become homeless and the three children are still under the trauma of the attack, especially, the eldest one who still bedwetting.


Case No. 2: Israeli occupation authorities destroy for the house of At Tahan family for the second time:

At 12 PM, June 10, 2008, a large force of Israeli army and police accompanied with a big Hammer Jeep forced their way inside the village of Isawiya enclosing the vicinity of Khamis Shehada at Tahan's house and starting to demolish it. Within two- hour time the targeted house (area = 238 m2 and in which 9 family members lived) was totally demolished.  


In an interview with LRC field worker, the head of the family, Mr. Khamis at Tahan said the following:


The soldiers showed their happiness about what was going on by eating candies in a very sick and provocative way. One of them told me ' you see when we demolish a house we eat candies, do you want some? The demolition lasted for two hours during which even all the trees wee uprooted and some gates which don't belong to the house were, also, destroyed. This proves the deep hatred and provocation beyond any human imagination.



The ruins of At Tahan house


Case No. 3: Israeli occupation authorities force Palestinian Jerusalemites to pay the cost of demolishing their homes in Jabel Al Mukaber:

Mr. Mohammed Abdul Allah Shehada, 50 years old, built a house in June 2005. However, before moving into the house he received an administrative demolition order to be executed within 48 hours.


The family appealed to Jerusalem magistrate court against the demolition order and the case was postponed for seven months until September 30th, 2008 as to allow him time to acquire a construction permit. In case he failed to do so, the court stipulated, the family would be obliged to demolish the house themselves or pay all the demolition cost.   


Previously, the family was asked to pay 84000 NIS as a fine to be paid in the amount of NIS1400 on monthly basis until the year 2011. At the begging of June, 2008 the owner, out of fear of demolishing the whole house, destroyed one room with a total surface area of 11 m2 added to the south eastern side of the house to provide shelter for his 8 member family of whom 6 are children.


Case No. 4 Israeli occupation forces destroy partially the house of Fatina Al Ajrab without any prior warning – Beit Hanina:

At 7:00 AM on the 10th of June 2008 and while the family of Mrs. Fatina Al Ajrab were asleep, Israeli soldiers surrounded the house located in Beit Hanina. The school age children clamped on to their mother in fear especially when the soldiers forced their way into the house. One of them was shouting: wake up the kids. Come on. We don’t have all day. We have other homes that we have to destroy. Bulldozers marched on to demolish the 72 m2 house in which 8 Palestinian Jerusalemites used to live of which 4 were children. Mrs. Al Ajrab indicated that the demolition took place without any prior notification and that the Municipality had promised in the past that it won’t demolish any house in the region in return for non-building by Palestinians until the Municipality reorganizes the parcel in which the houses of the neighborhood are currently present in. To assure the seriousness of the residents in regard of the Municipality suggestion, each one of them paid $3000 and opened a Licensing Files number 1/1/68 in April 2004. Yet, the Municipality did not keep its part of the bargain and demolitions started rolling once again.


The partial demolition of Al Ajrab house in Beit Hanina


Case No. 5: Mr. Nabil Al Imwasi Demolishes his own house – Beit Hanina

On June 11th, 2008 Mr. Nabil Al Imwasi was forced to demolish his own house by himself in fear that he will be fined NIS 80,000 in case the Municipality carries out the demolition. Mr. Nabil, his wife and his 6 children (the oldest is 12 and the youngest is 3) used to live in the house which was located in Al Kharayeb neighborhood of Beit Hanina. In 2004, the Municipality declared that the house was located on the so-called Green Area and demolished it. Mr. Imwasi built another house near the ruins of the first one. He built it out of blocks and zinco hoping that the Municipality would allow it to stand. However, he received another demolition order under the same pretext. Two lawyers, Akram Abu Libda and Hussein Ghanayem, were hired to stop the second demolition yet to no avail. In May 2008 Israeli Police and Municipality employees took pictures of the house and told the inhabitants that they will come back to demolish it very soon and that they have two choices; either the house owners demolish it themselves or allow the municipality to do that at a cost of NIS 80,000 that will be billed to the owner. Obviously, Mr. Al Imwasi opted for the first option.     


What is left of the house of Al Imwasi in Beit Hanina


Case No. 6: The Municipality demolishes the house of Ihab Zuhdi Al Tawil for the second time – Beit Hanina

While Mr. Ihab Zuhdi Al Tawil was waking up his kids to go to school, he was surprised to see large numbers of the Israeli Army, intelligence and police surrounding his 50 m2, two-room house. After evicting Mr. Al Tawil, his wife and their 5 children (the eldest is 9 and the youngest is 5 months old) the Israeli forces demolished the house which was located in Wadi Al Dam – Housh Al Al Tawil. This was the second demolishing as the same forces demolished in 2005 the same house under the pretext that it was built without a permit in a “Green Area”. After the first demolishing Mr. Al Tawil began rebuilding his house in April 2006.


Upon the completion of the building process (at a hefty bill of NIS 48,000), the Jerusalem Municipality placed an order on the door of the house ordering Mr. Al TAwil to demolish it within 48 hours. In turn, Mr. Al Tawil hired the lawyer Akram Abu Libdeh who managed to postpone the demolition a number of times until he exhausted all of the legal options. As such, Mr. Al Tawil hired the lawyer Sami Rashid who managed to postpone the demolition until May 20th, 2008 when the Israeli Magistrate issued a decision to demolish the house while giving Mr. Al Tawil until May 30th to find an alternative housing. 


Mr. Al Tawil indicated the following:

Between May 20th and 30th we were very nervous. Jerusalem is a very crowded city and ten days are simply not enough to find an alternative housing place for me and my family. The Israeli police came to me on June 11th, took pictures of the house and told me that they will come the next day to carryout the demolition.

The house before the demolition


.. and after


Case No.7: The Jerusalem Municipality demolishes the house of Mr. Anwar Osaily for “lack of permit” – Wadi Qadoom:

Israeli bulldozers protected by a large number of Israeli soldiers and policemen demolished the house of Mr. Anwar Izzat Osaily which was located in Wadi Qadoom neighborhood close to Ras Al Aamood. The house, built in 2006, consisted of only one floor with an area of 150 m2 and it used to provide shelter to 11 Palestinians.  


Mr. Osaily received a demolition order in early 2007 under the pretext that a large portion of the house laid on a planned street inside the neighborhood. In turn, Mr. Osaily hired the lawyer Azmi Barakat who managed to delay the demolition until June 17th, 2008.  The family is currently scattered living in relative houses until an alternative can be found.


Osaila house in ruins


Case No. 8: The demolition of the house of Mr. Zaidan Ra’afat Al Shweiki for the second time– Beit Hanina:

On May 30th, 2008 Israeli Police and Border Police accompanied a bulldozer operated by the Jerusalem Municipality as it demolished the house of Mr. Zaidan Al Shweiki in Beit Hanina for the second time. The first demolition took place on the 25th of October 2006 as the house used to consist of 4 main rooms. After the first demolition Mr. Al Shweiki managed to build only a one-room house with an area of a mere 52 m2 with a zinco roof in an attempt to keep the eye of the Municipality away from his newly-built house. However, the Municipality delivered a demolition order to the wife of Mr. Al Shweiki only few days before the demolition actually took place. The financial situation of Mr. Al Shweki does not allow him to afford renting in Jerusalem. As such, he is currently living with relatives and in a protest tent that he put up near the ruins of his house.


The tent set up by Mr. Al Shweiki next to the ruins of his house.



Case 1: Tens of houses receive demolition orders in Jabal Al Mukaber:

The Jerusalem Municipality issued and distributed on May 15th, 2008 demolition orders against 18 houses and buildings in the area of Jabal Al Mukaber south of the city of Jerusalem. Municipality employees, escorted by the Israeli Police, took pictures of buildings in Hosh Abu Sroor and Hosth Aal Mansour neighborhoods as they informed the residents there that the number of buildings has increased without obtaining the needed permits. The employees even said that some of the structures are built on lands where a street is planned to be constructed.


Mr. Ali Mohammad Suroor (age= 65 years old), an owner of a small grocery who received a demolition order, indicated the following:


I have lived in Jabal Al Mukaber since 1958 when I built a small house. I had later to expand it as my family grew. On June 15th, 2008 the Municipality gave me a demolition order for parts of my house (a small room, a warehouse and an outside guest place) all of which have cost me more than NIS 87,000 .


Case 2: Colonial movements target Palestinian houses in the Old City.

On the 16th of June, 2008 a colonial movement called “Yeshiva Haiem Olam” submitted eviction orders to both Mr. Hammoud Kastiro and Mr. Ahmad Hashima from their houses in Aqabat Al Khalidiya neighborhood of the Old City of Jerusalem. The two Palestinians live in the same street as well as Mr. Mohammad Al Sidawi who has been a target for the same organization 7 months ago.



The house of the colonist near the house of Al Hashima family

The threatened Hashima house

Mr. Kastiro has been renting his 38 m2 house, in which his family of 4 live, from a Jewish man via Mr. Mohammad Yaseen since 1972. He’s been paying the rent promptly and on time. Mr. Kastiro expressed that they have rented the house for unlimited time and that he and his family has the right to stay in the house as long as they pay the agreed-upon rent.


As for the 25-year old Mr. Hashima, he said that he has been living in his 40 m2 house along with his mother after the death of his father and that he has all the necessary documents that prove his right to the house.


The problem started to arise when the Jewish landlord passed away a few years back. His son moved into one of the apartments next to Mr. Kastiro and started to provoke his neighbors in an attempt to evict them. The lawyer Mohammad Dahla managed to get a precautionary freezing measure from the court until it can look into the issue of their eviction.


Case 3: Israeli occupation forces issue eviction and demolition orders against three houses in Ras Khamis neighborhood:

On June 11th, 2008 the Jerusalem Municipality issued eviction and demolition orders against three houses in Ras Khamis neighborhood north of Shu’fat Camp. On the 3rd of July 2008 lawyer Ziad Qa’awar managed to persuade the court to issue a precautionary measure stopping the demolition until the court looks into the issue on a deeper level. The three houses are located right next to each other and about 30 meters away from the Israeli Racist Isolation Wall. Details of the houses are as follows; the house of Mr. Maher Al Rajabi the area of which is 190 m2. Mr. Rajabi lives in the house along with his wife, his two parents and his 7 children.  It was built in 2004. The second house is owned by Mr. Suleiman Al Turk and its area is 224 m2. Mr. Al Turk, his wife, his two parents and his ten children (the oldest is 18 years old and the youngest is one month old). The house was built in 2002. As for the third house, it is owned by Mr. Amjad Abu Turki in which he lives in along with his wife, two parents and his six children.  



It is worth noting here that the three houses were built before the Wall was established to separate between Ras Khamis and the colony of Pisgat Ze’ev.  The Jerusalem Municipality deals with the three houses as one package and claims that the houses were built without a permit on unregulated lands. The three houses were issued demolition orders previously in 2005. Mr. Al Turk, on his behalf and on the behalf of the other two houses, requested the legal services of the lawyer Mustafa Yehya who reached an agreement with the Municipality to pay a fine of NIS 67,000 for each house to be paid in monthly installments of NIS 1,000. It is worth noting that the Municipality has indicated to the lawyer that the chance of issuing a building permit for the houses does not exceed 5%.  Now, after receiving a combined payment of NIS 27,000, the Municipality issued eviction and demolition orders on June 11, 2008 !!.


A picture taken from the house of Amjad Abu Turki. Note the close proximity to the Isolation Wall

Picture taken from the house of Suleiman Al Turk

The following table illustrates the number of demolished houses in the city of Jerusalem during the month of June 2008 as documented by Land research Center.



No. of demolished Houses

Beit Hanina


Al Tur




Jabal Al Mukabber










The works of dredging and drilling are ongoing in the Old City of Jerusalem especially in the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque and Silwan for the purpose of establishing underground tunnels. These works have caused large cracks in buildings in the neighborhoods of Al Shihabi, Osaila, Al Zurba as well as Al Imam and Al Khaldi neighborhoods which threatens the lives of thousands of Palestinians. Complaints filed by home owners to the Israeli Police and the Municipality went unheard. The Municipality even held the Palestinian owners responsible for not carrying out proper renovations and fined them for that while absolving Israeli construction groups and companies carrying out the digging from the responsibility of preparing the damages it is causing. To witness the issue on the ground, one can only walk on Al Wad Road between the junction of the Islamic Council until he reaches the entrance of the neighborhoods of Zurba and Osaila as to see firsthand the signs of the impeding collapse of the infrastructure there. Examples are abound in the Old City of Jerusalem.




Diggings at the estates overtaking by colonists in the Churchs’ Way near the Tarasanta School.




Case 1: Tax authorities at the gates of the Isolation Wall  

Israeli authorities in charge of the National Insurance, income and Arnona taxes continue to set up flying checkpoints to collect what it calls “dues” from Palestinian Jerusalemites. That is despite the fact that the Israeli High Court declared such practices as illegal. Currently these authorities have become present at the gates of the Isolation Wall in an effort to collect these “dues.”  For example, on June 9th, 2008 two taxis heading from Ramallah to Jerusalem were impounded despite the fact its owners presented all of the legal documents to these authorities.


Case 2: Violations of human rights and racist acts of depravity carried out by Israeli occupation authorities:

Israeli occupation forces restricted the movement of Palestinian Jerusalemites on June 2nd, 2008 in the 40th anniversary of Jerusalem’s occupation. These forces blocked main streets in occupied Jerusalem including the streets linking between Ras Al Amood and the Palestinian Museum, Bab Al Asbat and Bab Al Magharba in addition to Sultan Suleiman Street from Bab Al Sahira until the Industrial Zone in Wadi Al Joz. Hundreds of Special Forces, the Police and Border Police placed obstacles in the face of Palestinian movement while Israeli forces transformed Bab Al Amood, Al Misrara, Bab Al Sahira and Bab Al Asbat Way into military barracks.


Moreover, Israeli occupation has transformed its religious and non-religious events into occasions to assault Palestinians and their properties in the streets and roads of Jerusalem under the pretext of providing “protection for marching colonists.”  These colonists take advantage of the situation and attack Palestinians and destroy their property. This year the route of the “Jerusalem March” was longer than previous years which meant additional assaults on Palestinians and their property without the slightest intervention from the Israeli security forces to protect the Palestinians or stop the assaults of the colonists.



Case 1: Israeli occupation issues an order to confiscate 5500 dunums of Beit Hanina lands for the benefit of the Racist Isolation Wall:

In May 2008 Israeli occupation forces issued a new military order calling for the confiscation of 5500 dunums from the lands of Beit Hanina for the purpose of constructing additional sections of the Wall. On June 2nd, 2008 the Israeli Liaison officer told the secretary of the Beit Hanina village Council, Mr. Saleh Da’ajneh, of the confiscation decision. The village refused to abide by the order and launched a series of protests and marches against it.


The village council solicited the services of the lawyer Mohammad Dahla in an effort to stop the confiscation. However, the order was carried out on June 23rd for “security reasons” after declaring the area as Closed Military Area. However, Palestinian land owners managed to reach the site of the construction which prompted the Israeli forces to use teargas and sound bombs against them causing a number of injuries.



Case 2: Colonist try to seize Palestinian land in Wadi Silwan:

For a fourth time in one month a group of colonists tried to seize two plots of land in Wadi Silwan. However, Palestinian protestors held a sit-in in the land and clashed with the invaders which led to the arrest of two Palestinians. The area of the targeted lands is about 6.5 dunums and is separated by Al Ain mosque and water spring. The two pieces of land are owned by the Orthodox Church and have been worked on by Awad family for tens of years. In May 2008 the Jerusalem Municipality demolished the fence that surrounded the land, replaced it by a metal fence and started to plow the land in an effort to establish a car parking lot.


In turn, Mr. Shuayeb Musa Awad filed a law suit against the colonists and the Jerusalem Municipality to prevent them from stealing the land. However, the Court issued on 22nd of June of 2008 its decision indicating that the “land was sold to a colonial organization by the Church two years ago.”  Mr. Awad is planning to appeal the decision.


The current situation in Wadi Silwan

The colonial proposed changes and the establishment of a parking lot




Case 1: The prevention of holding a memorial for the “Prince of Jerusalem.”

The Israeli Police is trying to create a de facto reality on the ground which is that East Jerusalem is under pure Israeli sovereignty despite all of the international resolutions that point to the contrary. The Municipality and the Ministry of Internal Security are constantly trying to impose their control through banning any gathering, festival or ceremony of an Arab national character. As such, the Israeli Police, under the direction of Internal Security Minister Avi Dekhter, prevented Palestinian Jerusalemite from holding a memorial commemorating the 9th anniversary of the death of the late Faisal Al Huessini on June 1st, 2008. 


The family of the deceased, along with a number of Jerusalemite organizations, made all the needed preparations for the memorial which was scheduled to be held at 4:30 PM at Al Hakawati Theatre. However, twenty minutes before the memorial was set to start, Israeli Police and Special Forces stormed the Theatre and submitted an order to the director canceling the event. The Police, then, evicted all of the attendees and prevented them from even standing in front of the Theatre. Moreover, Municipality employees came to Theatre at a later time that day and fined the director due to taping of memorial-related posters and advertisements on the walls and streets of Jerusalem. They have fined him NIS 430 for each poster with a total fine of NIS 8,000. The fine was later reduced to a mere NIS 800 after some legal haggling.



It is worth noting here that this was not the first time that Al Hakawati was prevented from organizing events as it was shut down due to its sponsorship of the “Jerusalem: The Capital of Arab Culture 2009” festival as well as the George Habash Memorial and the Youth Parliament Initiative among others. 





Case 1: Degradation of health and environmental conditions in the Old City of Jerusalem

The deliberate and willful neglect by the Municipality of Arab neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem has manifested itself in the large number of rats and mice spread throughout the streets of the Old City. A Palestinian shop owner in Bab Al Amood indicated that: 


There is an invasion of mice and rats in the Old City. They spread around during the night hours. It lives in the abundant trash and in the sewer system.


Moreover, the seeping of sewage and wastewater into the streets of the Old City is commonplace.


In response, a number of merchants and residents have filed complaints with the Municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Health due to the deteriorating health and environmental conditions in the Old City. Yet to no avail.



Categories: Reports