The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem step up its Policy Demolishing Palestinian Homes

The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem step up its Policy Demolishing Palestinian Homes

In the early morning of November 5, 2008, the bulldozers of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem, backed with more than 50 Israeli policemen and border patrol officers, started a massive campaign to demolish eight Palestinian houses in the Palestinian neighborhoods of, Shu'fat, Al Bustan neighborhood in Silwan city and Beit Hanina Town.


The demolition affair started in Beit Hanina neighborhood when the bulldozers started to partially demolish a 'wedding hall' owned by the local resident Mr. Samir Qirsh. Following the demolition Mr. Samir indicated that the hall had stood there for ten years, since 1998, and that the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem went to execute the Hall demolishing without any prior notification, adding that he was shocked when his neighbors called him on his cell phone to inform him that his hall is being demolished by the Israeli bulldozers.


Later on, the Israeli bulldozers proceeded to Shu'fat neighborhood north of the city of Jerusalem to demolish the house of the local resident Mr. Abdullah Bsharat under the pretext of lacking building permit. Afterward, the bulldozers continued to Al Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, where clashes with the Israeli forces broke out between the local residents and the Israeli forces, in an attempt to prevent the Israeli bulldozers from carrying out the demolishing orders, but the Israeli Occupation Forces commander, and in front of the residents and witnesses, of which Mr. Ma'ier Marglit, member of the Israeli municipality council, had issued his orders to his forces to break up the demonstrators with force. Moreover, he threatened that he will burn the entire neighborhood in order to execute the demolition orders of the five-targeted houses.


Finally and after intensified clashes, the Israeli bulldozers demolished two of the five-targeted Palestinian houses, those of the local residents Mr. Muhammad Seyam and Mr. Sa'eed Abu Sanad. The Israeli bulldozers were not able to conclude their mission because of the local residents’ fierce protests that ended up with the arrest of 22 Palestinians.


It is worth mentioning that the Israeli aggressive demolishing campaign was launched in conjunction with the election of the Mayor of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem, which was held on November 11, 2008, a week following the demolishing of the Palestinian homes in Jerusalem.


Jamjoum & Maslamani Houses

The story of Jamjoum and Maslamani families started back in November 2007, when the court of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem municipal ruled that the two Palestinian families of Mr. 'Adel Bader Al Maslamani (11 person) and Mr. Rifa'i Abdullah Jamjoum (14 person) do not have the right to reside in their houses.


The two families where surprised by the Israeli decisions and appealed the Israeli decision, and in March 2008 the assigned lawyer succeeded to obtain a adjourn order to the families evection until the case is further deliberated in September 2008.

In late September 2008, the Israeli court  confirmed the eviction order, and granted the two families 45 days ( until November 6 , 2008) to comply and leave their houses.


On November 5, 2008, a day prior to putting the Israeli court order into effect, Jamjoum and Maslamani families were successful to obtain an additional adjourn  to the eviction order by the same Israeli Jerusalem court; pending the court final decision. See Photo s below




The Eviction of Al Kurd Family

On November 9, 2008, the Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem  stormed the house of the Palestinian Jerusalemite Mr. Muhammad Kamel Al Kurd located in Al Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and forced the owner of the house Mr. Mohammad Al Kurd (62 years and suffering from several serious health problems) and his 57 years old wife, out of their house.


The case of Al Kurd family goes back to the year 1972 when illegal Israeli extremist organizations filed a petition to the Israeli court claiming their ownership of the land on which Al Kurd house as well as 27 others houses where built on.


Later on, Al Kurd  and the other 27 Palestinian families filed a petition to the Israeli court explaining that the construction of their homes took place in the year 1956; and was carried out by the Jordanian Government (the Jordanian Ministry of housing) in corporation with the UNRWA (United Nation Relief and Works Agency), and the ownership of these houses referred to them three years later.


In the year 1996, the appointed lawyer by Al Kurd family Husni Abu Hussein started a legal battle with the Illegal Israeli organizations and settlers and proved that the Palestinian resident Suleiman Hijazi is the legal and rightful owner of the land where the house of Al Kurd family is constructed.


In 1999, the Israeli settlers occupied 78 square meters from Al Kurd resident claiming their ownership of the house, and evicted the family by force from the their home.


On June 20, 2006, the Israeli court rejected the petition submitted y the owner of the land Mr. Suleiman Hijazi after filing a case stating that the settlers have taken over his property in illegal manner.


 Few months later, the Palestinian families and Suleiman Hijazi submitted another petition through the Lawyer Hatem Abu Ahmad, to the Israeli court, which in turn confirmed that Suleiman Hijazi is the rightful owner of the land, thus ordering the eviction of the Israeli settlers from Muhammad Al Kurd house,. However, the decision was not carried through and spar  took place on the ground between the Israeli police and the Illegal settlers.


At the beginning of this year 2008, the Israeli settlers claimed that they had sold their 'Illegal share' in Al Kurd house to an Investment company called 'Nahalat Sham,” which revealed its intention to build 200 housing units on the ruins of the 28 Palestinian houses ( including Al Kurd house).


Finally, the Illegal Israeli procedures to evict al Kurd family started when the Israeli Magistrates rejected the petition filed by Al Kurd family and called on them to evacuate their house; otherwise they will be evicted by force and that is what was at 6:30 am of November 9, 2008.


Legal & International Status

The state of Israel continues to practice illegal acts in occupied East Jerusalem seeking to eradicate the Palestinian Jerusalemites from their city. The status in which the Palestinian Jerusalemites are in at this time may very much be classified as an  ethnic cleansing, for the thousands of Palestinian houses demolished over the past 41 years of occupation and the 6-8 thousands Palestinian houses yet waiting to be demolished by Israel in the years to come.  If any thing, this is a clear indication of Israel’s apathy of International law rules and human rights conventions and the International legitimacy resolutions such as the UNSCR No. 242 of the year 1967 which calls on Israel to withdraw from all of the Arab territories it occupied in its aggression in the year 1967 , which means that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank , Gaza, and East Jerusalem is Illegal, therefore all of the Israeli practices and procedures executed by the Israeli occupation in the occupied territory, especially in East Jerusalem ,is null and void.




Prepared by 
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Demolition