The Ghost of Demolition Haunts Palestinians in Al Sahl Neighborhood.

The Ghost of Demolition Haunts Palestinians in Al Sahl Neighborhood.

The Jerusalem Municipality has issued and distributed 29 Notifications to families living in Al Sahl Neighborhood of Al Tur on the 5th of March, 2009.  Some of these Notifications included demolition orders while the others informed the recipients that the Municipality has filed legal complaints against them in the Municipal Court for building without a permit.

Residents of the neighborhood indicated that a Jerusalem Municipality employee, accompanied by an Israeli Border Police jeep, was present in the neighborhood at 9:00 AM on March 5th, 2009. He distributed demolition and court appearance orders to 29 families living in 10 buildings belonging to the families of Houshiya, Ghazzawi, Alqam, Al Huneiti, Abu Al Hawa and Al Jo’aba.


Demolitions are not a new issue in the neighborhood; on the 8th of February, 2009 the Municipality demolished the house of Mr. Khaled Al Sayyad while on the 10th of June 2008 it demolished 8 houses with a total area exceeding 671 m2. The latter demolition left 32 Palestinians homeless, 13 of which were children. Also, in late 2007 Mr. Ali Hasan Al Jo’aba was forced to demolish his mobile house by himself as to avoid additional fines and prison time. At the time, his family had 8 individuals of which 6 were children.

The targeting of Al Sahl neighborhood is part of synchronized and orchestrated effort of the Occupation Municipality to ethnically cleans Jerusalem from its original Palestinian population; In January 2009 the Municipality placed three sings in three locations in East Jerusalem written on it “Entry prohibited. State Lands”. One of the locations was in Al Ghurs site in the middle of a purely Palestinian neighborhood. The area of the location is 24 dunums east north of Al Sawwana neighborhood. It is seized to build a school for the colonist movement Beit Orot Shon for the purpose of building a Jewish religious school. Another sign was placed in Al Hardoob area in Al Tur where the land was seized for the purpose of the construction of building used for “the benefit of the public.” The third sign was placed in Al Sahl neighborhood in which more than 1500 Palestinian reside. The Municipality claims the targeted lands have no owner !!!!.  

The Occupation Municipality ordered the Palestinian owners to come to its premises to further discuss the issue. However, the Palestinians are refusing any negotiation or compromise on their lands and property.  In protest of the fierce campaign carried out by the Municipality against anything that is Palestinian, the residents established a protest tent against the Israeli policy which led to the demolition of 60 houses and rendering more than 400 Palestinians homeless since the year 2000.

These outrageous violations of the Palestinian right to residence and the right to live in dignity and in safety affirms without a doubt that mass transfer is an integral factor in the Israeli policy towards Palestinian Jerusalemites. Such policy is in direct violation of all international norms and interventions and is considered to be a war crime that necessitates apprehension and punishment. Otherwise, the lack of punishment and accountability will be seen as an encouragement for occupation forces not only to target individual houses but to target entire neighborhoods in the city of Jerusalem. The lack of accountability will also be seen as an implicit agreement of the International Community with these policies and a violation of its commitment especially to Article 53 of the Geneva Convention.

The Land Research Center – An associate organization of the Arab Studies Society – demands that occupation forces and authorities stop its restrictive policies of Palestinian building and livelihood in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.  

Prepared by:
The Land Research Center





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