Prior to Capture…The Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem Levels a Playground

Prior to Capture…The Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem Levels a Playground
Officers of the Israeli Municipality in the Occupied City of jerusalem and the Israeli Environmental Protection Agency accompanied by a dozer leveled a 3.5-dunum-playground and uprooted more than 25 trees; all done under the protection of tens of police officers. The playground is part of the Ibrahimi College; it separates the college from lands designated in a recent plan to build a new ‘biblical park’.

Picture 1: the leveled playground

Picture 2-3: the Hebrew University and threatened lands

Abdul Salam abu Rmeilah, the College Deputy, stated to an LRC observer: ‘at 5:30 am, Israeli Police and a dozer appeared in the area. The dozer started removing the fence surrounding the playground without any prior warning. I went to the site immediately to find the Police Commissioner and Avitar Cohen, EPA Director, and I asked them, what are you doing? They replied by saying that the playground is illegal because it is located in the Municipality property. They also claimed that they had an order issued on August 31, 2011. I replied by denying any knowledge of such an order and called Mr. Nihad Rashid, an Attorney; I asked them to talk to the lawyer but they refused.’
He added: ‘in 2004, the Municipality removed the fence surrounding the playground but we put it back in place and assigned a guard. However, they did it again, this time under night cover. The guard saw almost 30 people and recognized Avitar Cohen, the EPA director. We called the Police which came and prevented them from removing the fence. We decided to file a complaint against the Israeli EPA since they were directly responsible for the attack as well as their continuous attempts to take over the land. 4 months later, the Court judged in our favor and we heard nothing from them till August, 2011, when the Municipality informed us that we are ‘illegally’ using the lands. Our lawyer, Mr. Nihad Rashid, presented property deeds and documents proving the legality of the land usage and we thought that was enough. Nevertheless, instead of adding facilities and playgrounds to schools the Israelis are ravaging and confiscating them.’


Categories: Demolition