Israel resumes its illegal demolitions in the Occupied Eastern Part of Jerusalem city

Israel resumes its illegal demolitions in the Occupied Eastern Part of Jerusalem city
On June 16, 2010, the Israeli bulldozers of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem, accompanied by the Israeli police razed Al- ‘Abbasiyya neighborhood in Silwan town south of the old city of Jerusalem and demolished three animal sheds and nursery under the pretext of lacking building permits.
Mr. Nidal Siyam the owner of the demolished structures indicated that after the Israeli bulldozers completed the demolishing act, the Israeli police went and impounded the animals (horses, sheep and poultry) under the pretext that these animals constitute a threat to public health.
During the same day, the Israeli bulldozers staged into At-Thawri neighborhood west of the town of Silwan, and demolished a garage owned by the local residents Kamal As-Shweiki under the pretext of lacking proper authorization.
Later on, and on June 21, 2010, the Building and Planning Committee of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem sanctioned a plan to demolish 22 Palestinian houses in Al Bustan neighborhood in the town of Silwan to pave the way for the Israeli colonial project called “Kings’ Valley” which is a restoration of a biblical garden, in addition to other facilities to stand on the ruins of more than 90 Palestinian houses in Al Bustan neighborhood in Silwan that are currently at the risk of demolishing to carryout this Israeli fling.
Silwan….. A battle of Existence
Silwan is a Palestinian Jerusalemite town, located to the southeastern part of Jerusalem’s Old city. The town extends along the Qedron Valley and runs alongside the eastern slopes of Jabal Al-Mukkabir. Since the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip East Jerusalem in 1967, the town has been a target for the successive Israeli governments as well as by Jewish organizations such as ‘Ateret Cohanim and El ‘AD Jewish organizations.  El ‘AD foundation was established in 1986 with the aim of constructing what is called the ‘city of David’ (Ir David in Hebrew) in the place that is home to the Silwan citizens for hundreds of years.
The colonization attack on Silwan escalated since 1991, since then more than 40 houses were taken over by force by Jewish settlers. Al Bustan neighborhood in Silwan is a section of the part labeled ‘Ir David’ and was the most targeted one because of its proximity to the western wall of the Old City.
 Al-Bustan is one Palestinian Neighborhood located in the middle of Silwan city in the southeastern part of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the British Mandate classification of lands and properties, the entire lands of Al Bustan neighborhood, which spreads over an area exceeding 70 dunums, have been registered as “Exclusive Jerusalem Palestinian Properties” owned by Palestinian Jerusalemites.
In the year 2004, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem issued administrative orders to demolish 88 Palestinian houses in Al-Bustan Neighborhood (which constitutes more than 90% of the neighborhood’s houses) allegedly for lacking proper authorization from the Israeli Municipality and that the ownership of these houses refers to the Jewish extremist organizations “‘Ateret Cohanim” & “El ’Ad” which intend to build the “City of David” at the targeted neighborhood.
Later in August 2008, Palestinian citizens of Al-Bustan neighborhood had submitted a master plan to the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem to obtain building permits for their threatened houses, but their request had been formally rejected in January 2008.
Furthermore, and on February 21, 2009, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem handed over owners of more than 134 Palestinian families (1500 Palestinians) from Al-Bustan Neighborhood evacuation and demolition orders notifying them that they have to evacuate their houses for demolishing to make room for the Israeli plan, “King David Garden”. See the map blow:

Map 1: Al- Bustan neighborhood In Silwan town
If the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem carry out the demolitions in Al-Bustan Neighborhood in the town of Silwan, more than 1,500 Palestinian Jerusalemites will be homeless, since half of the house owners in Al-Bustan neighborhood received an administrative demolition orders issued by the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem.
Legal & International Status
The Israeli systematic house demolition campaign, which carried out by the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem is Illegal and contradicts with the International law rules and conventions. Following is a synopsis of Articles within these covenants, conventions and law rules that address the issue of house demolitions and forced evictions under these articles:
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:
  • Article 11 (1): ‘The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions’.
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965):
  • Article 5: ‘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’.
Universal declaration of human rights, Article 17:
1.     ‘Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.’
2.     ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’
Article 25:
1.     ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.’
The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949:
  • Article 53: ‘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.’
  • Article 47: ‘Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territory and the Occupying power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.’
  • Article 147: ‘Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts … extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.’
Hague Regulations of 1907:
  • Section II Article 23: ‘it is especially forbidden- to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.’
  • Section III Article 46: ‘Family honor and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.’
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 a (III) of, December 10, 1948.
  • Article 17 reads: ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’ Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.
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Categories: Demolition