The Israeli occupation municipality orders Qarai’n family to self-demolish their structure in Wad Hileh area

The Israeli occupation municipality orders Qarai’n family to self-demolish their structure in Wad Hileh area



Qara'in family was forced by Israel's municipality in Jerusalem on July 22, 2016  to self-demolish an annexed room to their house located in the Silwan neighborhood of Wad Hilweh, south Al-Aqsa mosque on the claim of "unlicensed construction. Noteworthy, the affected room is of 24m2 in area.

Citizen Abde Mohammad Qara'in told Land Research Center the following: " I built this room in 2012 for my son Oudai to reside in it and that’s what he did for a while. When I finished construction, the occupation's municipality arrived at the location, photographed the room and delivered us a demolition order, taking into account that we built the room without obtaining a permit from the municipality, which never grants permits for Jerusalemites in Wad Hilweh area and even in Silwan town as a whole"

" On July 04, 2016, we were asked, through a letter, to summon before the court and we received a self-demolition order on the room. If not committed to the order, the municipality will implement the demolition and all costs and expenses will be billed to us in addition to a financial fine that reaches up to 30,000 NIS. A thirty day deadline was given to us to implement the demolition".

"We decided to dismantle the room before the municipality does; it was on Friday of July 22, 2016. We took photos of the dismantled room to prove the act  for the municipality"

It should be marked that the room was annexed to a 100m2 residence that is inhabited by six members. There was a need to build a new room to accommodate the son since the space was tight in the family house.


Photo 1+2: the room before being dismantled and demolished



Photo 3-5: citizen Qara'in while dismantling his room


Self-Demolition is a Crime against Humanity:

Definition: When an owner of a structure is forced to demolish his property by himself, it is called 'self demolition' or 'silent demolition'. It used to be carried out in quiet or in silence as the name suggests. But recently, due to their increased number of cases, victims have come to disclose that such type of demolition exists and that it is their only choice and speak out about the inhumanity of the Israeli occupation for forcing such a practice.

This kind of demolition is mainly imposed on Palestinians in Jerusalem in efforts to displace them and Judaize the city.

The Israeli occupation always justifies that type of demolition, which is a blatant contravention of the right to residence and a crime against humanity, on the pretext of unlicensed construction.  

[If your house has been built without a building permit, then it is legal and you have to destroy it and remove the wreckage as soon as possible. You also have to take pictures of the destroyed structure and send them to the Inspection Department of the Planning and Construction Committee in the occupying municipality to verify the act. There is a fixed date regarding when you have to carry out the demolition operation and this is a red line you cannot cross. There is a second date set by the municipality court of local affairs to check if you have abided by the demolition order or not. In case you do not comply, the municipality will demolish your residence at your expense. If you cannot pay, you will be jailed, so the lesser of two evils becomes the self-demolition choice.]

Land Research Center  field observers kept a close eye on the matter and recorded 85 cases where the owners had to demolish their property by themselves during the past six years(2010-2016) making 529 civilian citizens, more than half of whom are children, homeless and lacking security and stability.


The graph illustrates the  number of self-demolished houses between 2010-2016


Negative effects of self demolition on families: 

The self or silent demolition causes great pain and feelings of oppression. When the Israeli occupation carries out a demolition operation, the family gets more united in the face of injustice, especially children who become aware of the reality of the occupation. But when the father carries out the demolition, children become confused and view their caretaker as weak and helpless. This may lead to fragmentations, clashes and instability within the family, and children might suffer psychologically and lose trust in the family, society and future. Let alone the loss of money and efforts on the part of the breadwinner and the family.

Objectives of imposing self- demolition on Palestinians by the Israeli occupation:

  • To kick out Palestinians from the occupied city of Jerusalem so Jews become a majority;
  • portray Palestinians as self-destructive, demolishing their residences by themselves in a gesture of admitting their wrongdoing;
  • exonerate the Israeli occupation from accusations of eviction and demolition;
  • spare the Israeli occupation from complications, confrontations and embarrassments during demolition;
  • generate money (by fining people thousands of shekels);
  • conceal the true number of demolition cases;
  • make negative psychological effects on Palestinian families;
  • Get rid of the infamous stereotype known for centuries about the Jews that they destroy their own houses by themselves.


Prepared by
 The Land Research Center

Categories: Demolition