The Israeli Occupation Continues its House Demolition Policy in Jerusalem

The Israeli Occupation Continues its House Demolition Policy in Jerusalem

Under the pretext of building without a permit, the Jerusalem Municipality demolished 2 Palestinian buildings in two locations in East Jerusalem in which Israeli colonization activities are taking place at a feverish rate.  The demolitions are an indicator of the transfer policy implemented by Israeli occupation authorities in contradiction of the international conventions that regulate the relation between the Occupation Power and the Occupied. 

It is no doubt that the non-issuance of building permits in Jerusalem is the direct result of the complicated bureaucratic process Palestinian Jerusalemites have to go through to gain such a license from the Jerusalem Municipality. In contrast, building permits for colonial housing units do not face any procedural obstacles and are processed with relative ease. Moreover, the demolition of Palestinian structures is carried out for the most simple “violations” of the given permit while Israeli infringements (and they are many) are met with ignorance and casting the sight of the authorities away.

The following table lists the demolished properties and their relevant information:                    



No. Demolished Structures


(in m2)

Family Members Displaced

Children Displaced


Nima Mahmoud Al Shweiki







Mohammad Eid Jabari

Beit Hanina





The building has a 350-m2 ground level.







Demolition in Silwan – Jerusalem:

On the 28th of January, 2009 the Jerusalem Municipality demolished the house of the 57-year old Nima Mahmoud Al Shweiki located near Wadi Qadoom in Silwan which is the same location in which a giant colonial project is taking place.

The demolished structure was the third floor of an apartment building. Its area was about 140-m2 and it consisted of 3 rooms and its utilities. In it, 8 Palestinians used to live 6 of whom were children. There are more than 30 Palestinians living in the targeted building.

It was not the first time that the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality has targeted the houses of Al Shweiki family in Beit Hanina; in July 2007 Israeli forces demolished an apartment in the same location under the pretext of building without a permit. However, under the pressure of the need for housing and the lack of issuance of building permits from the Municipality, Al Shweiki family found itself obliged to rebuild the house especially that the mother suffers from cancer for the past 4 years while the daughter is a widow with 3 children. The second demolition has indeed caused a great damage to the family’s ability to rebuild again as well as causing psychological harm to its residents especially the children.

Photo 1:  Al Shweiki family house after it was demolished in Silwan


The Demolition of 3-Apartment Building in Beit Hanina:

In the early morning hours of January 28th, 2009 Israeli forces demolished a building owned by the 64-year old Mr. Mohammad Eid Jabari in Tel Al Foul Neighborhood in Beit Hanina.

The building consisted of three apartments owned by Mr. Mohammad in which his three sons, Farid, Musa and Bassam, along with himself live. The total area of the apartments was 750 m2 built atop a 350-m2 ground level. In total, 32 Palestinians lived in the apartments most of them were children.  

The Jabari family has bought its 6.5-dunum land from Al Wadi family and constructed its building in the year 2000. However, in the year 2002 the Jerusalem Municipality gave a Stop Order to the Jabari family after it had already completed the construction. In the aftermath of a number of hearings, the municipality court issued its final decision to demolish the building under the pretext that it was built on “State Land.” The family fought the decision and filed a complaint in the so-called “High Court of Justice.” Yet, on November 12th, 2008 the High Court ordered that the Jabari family must vacate the building no later than January 1st, 2009. The family’s lawyer managed to delay the eviction notice until March 31st, 2009. Yet, the Municipality did not respect the court’s decision as it carried out the demolition on the 28th of January, 2009.

Photo 2: Al Jabari building after its demolition.
The colony of Pisgat Ze’ev looms in the background




Prepared by:
The Land Research Center



Categories: Demolition